LONDON: Over twenty Pakistani students belonging to various universities in London gathered outside the French Embassy in Knightsbridge, London to register protest against French President Emmanuel Macron.
Macron had justified the offensive cartoons of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) published by the French satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo weeks earlier.
The students protested against the disrespect of their faith and chanted slogans against France and Macron.
“We are here to protest against the inappropriate cartoons published in France and the justification provided by French President, Emmanuel Macron. Macron has hurt over a billion Muslims by his irresponsible behaviour,” Yahya Sardar Sahi said.
Sahi, who is City University’s Pakistani Society president claimed that Macron had exhibited irresponsible behaviour by choosing to justify the cartoons which are considered deeply offensive to Muslims.
The protestors chanted slogans including “Shame Macron shame” and “Labbaik ya Rasulullah”.
Speaking to The Pakistan Daily, Raja Abdul Wassay, who has recently been elected as the President of Brunel University’s Pakistani Society said, “We are here to protest against the offensive cartoons published in France against our Holy Prophet (peace be upon him). We won’t accept any insult to our religion.”
The protestors also condemned the killings of Samuel Patty, the history teacher who was beheaded by a Chechen extremist after he showed the cartoons in his class.
The brutal killings at a church in Nice were also criticised by the protestors who vowed that Islam was a religion of peace.
Yahya Sardari Sahi highlighted that protesting against the murders was as important as protesting against the cartoons.
“The second purpose which is equally important is raising a voice against the unjustified killings of innocent people in France in the aftermath of this controversy. We strongly condemn the meaningless killings of innocent people in Nice and Paris and we want to highlight the fact that Islam is a religion of peace, it teaches us harmony,” Sahi said.
Macron had tried to diffuse the situation by distancing himself from the cartoons and explaining that France had nothing to do with the cartoons but calls for the boycott of French goods as well protests continued in the Muslim world and beyond.
Ali Chaudhry, a student of Brunel University said there was a difference between freedom of speech and hate speech and French President Emmanuel Macron needed to understand this.