Angered by President Emmanuel Macron’s comments on cartoons of Prophet Mohammed published in a magazine, some members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) in Abuja have set France’s flag ablaze.
Many Muslims have decribed the cartoons as “blasphemous.”
While fielding questions from an interview with Al Jazeera last Saturday, Macron noted that he understands the sentiments expressed by Muslims over the cartoons.
He however stated that he has a duty to protect rights – such as freedom of expression – of citizens in his country.
“You must understand my role right now, it’s to do two things; to promote calm and also to protect these rights,” Macron said.
“I will always defend in my country the freedom to speak, to write, to think, to draw. I think that the reactions came as a result of lies and distortions of my words because people understood that I supported these cartoons.”
However, the comments by the President sparked off anti-French protests in the Muslim world.
During their march in the FCT, the IMN members burnt the flag of France while chanting songs.
In a statement, Sidi Munir, an IMN member, described the publication as an attack on Muslims.
“We set France flag on fire in a reaction to the attack on Islam and Muslims by the President of France Emmanuel Macron since the heinous crime of publishing cartoons of the Prophet by the magazine Charlie Hebdo,” Munir said in the statement distributed during the protest.
“Hence we applaud the current campaign across Muslim and all lovers of peace and humanity.”
Their demonstration caused so much panic in Wuse market, as traders hurriedly closed their shops over fears that violence may erupt.
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