Hefajat’s protest rally against Macron halts traffic in Dhaka


Dhaka, Nov 02: Vehicular movement from the city’s Baitul Mukarram National Mosque to Nightingale intersection remained suspended since Monday morning as several hundred activists of Hefajat-e-Islam staged sit-in protesting the recent comments made by France President Emmanuel Macron against Islam.

Several hundred activists of Hefajat-e-Islam gathered near the Baitul Mukarram National Mosque around 11 am. They are scheduled to lay siege to the France Embassy.

Traffic movement from Baitul Mukarram Mosque, Nightingale intersection and Paltan area remained suspended since morning, causing immense sufferings to commuters.

Condemning the satirical cartoons, insulting Prophet Mohammad (Pbuh), in France, BNP on Sunday expressed solidarity with the protests by people of all races and religions and the Muslim Ummah against such a dreadful crime.

“BNP expresses solidarity with angry reactions and protests by around two crores of Muslims and different countries against the defaming of sacred religion Islam and the greatest Prophet Mohammad (Pbuh) and France President’s position in favour of it,” said BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Almgir.

Speaking at a press conference at BNP chairperson’s Gulshan office, Fakhrul also said BNP, which is respectful to all religions, thinks disrespecting any religious leader in the name of freedom of expression cannot be accepted in any way.

Earlier this month, Macron pledged to fight “Islamist separatism”, which he said, was threatening to take control in some Muslim communities around France.

He also described Islam as a religion “in crisis” worldwide and said the government would present a bill in December to strengthen a 1905 law that officially separated church and state in France, reports Qatar-based Al Jazeera.

His comments, in addition to his backing of satirical outlets publishing caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad, has led to a social media campaign calling for the boycott of French products from supermarkets in Arab countries and Turkey.

Hashtags such as the #BoycottFrenchProducts in English and the Arabic #ExceptGodsMessenger trended across countries, including Kuwait, Qatar, Palestine, Egypt, Algeria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

On October 23, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) condemned what it said was France’s continued attacks against Muslims by insulting religious symbols.

The secretariat of the Jeddah-based organisation said in a statement it is surprised at the official political rhetoric issued by some French officials that offend French-Islamic relations and fuels feelings of hatred for political party gains.