Turkey condemns Charlie Hebdo over Erdogan cartoon: Live news

Turkey calls new caricature ‘loathsome’ and ‘Islamophobic’ as protests and calls to boycott French goods continue.

Demonstrators chant slogans during an anti-France protest in Istanbul [Emrah Gurel/AP]

The rift between Muslim nations and France is growing after French President Emmanuel Macron said earlier this month that Islam was a religion in “crisis”.

Tension escalated after French teacher Samuel Paty was killed on October 16 near his school in broad daylight. He had shown caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad to his students. Since the crime, French officials were perceived as linking the killing to Islam.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has criticised Macron, saying the French leader needed “mental checks” over his attitude towards Islam.

Top officials in the Muslim world have condemned France and Macron, including Pakistan, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and Iran; while tens of thousands have attended protests and called for a boycott of French goods.

Tensions heated further on Wednesday after the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo published a new caricature depicting Erdogan. In response the Turkish president has threatened to sue the magazine.

Kuwait’s boycott of French goods over cartoons expands

Kuwait’s boycott of French products has expanded, with a leading chain saying Wednesday that most of its stores had stripped their shelves after President Macron defended cartoons insulting Islam.

Kuwait’s Union of Consumer Co-operative Societies said 60 of its 69 stores had pulled French-made products, with the rest of the establishments to “soon” follow suit.

Fahd al-Kishti, head of the union, told AFP news agency there will be no backtracking on the decision unless “insults” against Prophet Muhammad stopped.

“There will be increased pressure in the coming days in case of any provocation,” he said. “We will stop marketing all products and brands owned by the French, or those to which the French contribute.”

Iran’s Khamenei says Macron’s support for Prophet cartoons ‘stupid act’

Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has called the French president’s defence of cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad a “stupid act” and an “insult” to those who voted for him.

“Ask [President Macron] why he supports insulting God’s messenger in the name of freedom of expression. Does freedom of expression mean insulting, especially a sacred personage?” Khamenei said in a tweet.

“Isn’t this stupid act an insult to the reason of the people who elected him?” he added.

Turkey summons French envoy over caricatures in Charlie Hebdo weekly

Turkey has summoned the French charge d’affaires over caricatures published in Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine, a statement by Turkish foreign ministry said.

The cartoon on the cover of Charlie Hebdo showed Erdogan sitting in a white T-shirt and underpants, holding a canned drink along with a woman wearing an Islamic hijab. Turkish officials described it as a “disgusting effort”.

Demonstrators hold a sign reading “Respect for our prophet is respect for all mankind”n front of the French embassy in Ankara [Adem Altan/AFP]

Hundreds protest in Somalia over Macron’s defence of caricatures

Demonstrators in Somalia burned the French flag and called for a severing of diplomatic ties with France in protest over President Macron’s defence of cartoons depicting Prophet Muhammad.

Several hundred demonstrators blocked traffic in street protests in the capital Mogadishu, chanting slogans and burning effigies of Macron whose defence of the right to mock religion has ignited anger in much of the Muslim world.

“I don’t normally participate in demonstrations but today I would be ashamed if I did not show my sentiments against this infidel Macron, who supported this insult against our Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him,” said one protester, Hilal Abudrahman.

Another, Ahmed Sheik Mire, said Macron had provoked Muslims everywhere and called for the devout “to show their anger with France”.

“We will continue demonstrating, and we call on the Somali government to suspend its relationship with France as long as Macron is president,” he said.

Somalis chant anti-France slogans during Wednesday’s protest against the publications of drawings of Prophet Muhammad in France [Feisal Omar/Reuters]

France dissolves prominent Muslim charity

French authorities have dissolved a prominent Muslim charity as part of a widening government crackdown against organisations accused of having links to extremist groups.

“Barakacity has officially been dissolved,” the charity said in a tweet. “We are doing everything we can to save the interests of our beneficiaries in 26 countries.”

Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin confirmed the charity’s closure, saying in a tweet the move was in response to the group’s ties to the “radical Islamist movement” and its “revelling in justifying terrorist acts,” accusations that Barakacity has denied.

Turkey’s attacks on satirical magazine ‘hateful”, says French gov’t spokesman

Attacks from Turkish officials on French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, which had published a caricature of President Erdogan are “hateful”, French government spokesman Gabriel Attal told reporters at a briefing.

The cartoon on the cover of Charlie Hebdo showed Erdogan sitting in a white T-shirt and underpants, holding a canned drink along with a woman wearing an Islamic hijab. Turkish officials described it as a “disgusting effort”.

Turkey’s Erdogan: Attacks on Prophet ‘an issue of honour for us’

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said that Western countries attacking Islam want to “relaunch the Crusades” as the row over cartoons depicting Prophet Muhammad deepens.

Erdogan said in a speech to lawmakers from his AK Party in parliament that standing against attacks on the Prophet Muhammad was “an issue of honour for us”.

Rouhani: ‘Insulting the Prophet is insulting all Muslims’

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani has denounced France’s treatment of Islam, adding that Western support for cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad is unethical and insulting to Muslims.

In a televised cabinet meeting on Wednesday, the president said freedom must be accompanied by a respect for values and consideration of ethics.

“Westerners must understand the great Prophet of Islam is loved by all Muslims and freedom-lovers of the world,” Rouhani said.

Read more here.

Anti-France protests continue in Bangladesh

More than 500 activists of a political party rallied in Bangladesh’s capital to protest against the French president and his support of secular laws that deem caricatures depicting the Prophet Muhammad as protected under freedom of speech.

The protesters from the Islami Oikya Jote party carried banners reading: “The world’s biggest terrorist is Emannuel Macron” and “Kick out the French Ambassador from Bangladesh”.

Anti-France protests in Bangladesh have been ongoing for several days [Munir Uz Zaman/AFP)

Egypt says freedom of expression ‘stops’ when Muslims offended

Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi said freedom of expression should stop if it offends more than 1.5 billion people, following the display of images in France of the Prophet Muhammad that Muslims see as blasphemous.

“We also have rights. We have the right for our feelings not to be hurt and for our values not to be hurt,” he said during an address to commemorate the Prophet Muhammad’s birthday.

Sisi also said he firmly rejects any form of violence or terrorism from anyone in the name of defending religion, religious symbols or icons.

Abdel Fattah al-Sisi
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi [File: Octav Ganea/Reuters]

Malaysia strongly condemns French anti-Islam cartoons

Malaysia has strongly condemned the re-publication of caricatures insulting Prophet Muhammad by French magazine Charlie Hebdo.

“We strongly condemn any inflammatory rhetoric and provocative acts that seek to defame the religion of Islam as the world has recently witnessed in the form of populist speeches and publication of blasphemous caricatures depicting the Holy Prophet Muhammad,” said Foreign Minister Hishammuddin Hussein in a statement.

Erdogan alleges ‘crusade’ against Islam

Turkey’s president has said Western countries attacking Islam want to “relaunch the Crusades” as a row flared between Turkey and France about cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.

“Now, they target me personally through a caricature. After all these years, they want to relaunch a crusade against Islam,” President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a speech, local media outlet Daily Sabah reported.

“We are a nation that respects not only our own religion but also the values of other religions as well. It is our values that are being targeted,” he added.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan addresses members of his ruling AK Party (AKP) during a meeting at the Parliament in Ankara, Turkey, October 28, 2020 [Murat Cetinmuhurdar/Presidential Press Office/Handout/Reuters]

Charlie Hebdo faces Turkish probe over insulting president

French magazine Charlie Hebdo is facing possible charges in Turkey over insulting the Turkish president, prosecutors in the capital Ankara announced.

“An investigation was initiated into executives of Charlie Hebdo magazine for insulting the President in accordance with Articles 12, 13 and 299 of the Turkish Penal Code,” said a statement by prosecutors.


Iran’s Rouhani warns insulting Prophet may encourage ‘violence’

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday warned that insulting the Prophet Muhammed may encourage “violence and bloodshed” following Paris’ defence of the publication of cartoons depicting the Prophet.

“Insulting the prophet is no achievement. It’s immoral. It’s encouraging violence,” Rouhani said in a televised speech during the weekly cabinet meeting.

UK calls on NATO allies to defend free speech

British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab called on the NATO allies to stand shoulder-to-shoulder on values of tolerance and free speech, in a veiled rebuke to Turkey which has been calling for a boycott of French goods.

“The UK stands in solidarity with France and the French people in the wake of the appalling murder of Samuel Paty,” Raab said in a statement.

“NATO allies and the wider international community must stand shoulder-to-shoulder on the fundamental values of tolerance and free speech, and we should never give terrorists the gift of dividing us.”

Britain''s Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab makes a statement on Hong Kong''s national security legislation in London
UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said ‘terrorism can never and should never be justified’ [File: Hannah McKay/Reuters]

French mosque receives threatening notice

A mosque in Vernon district in northern France received a threatening notice on Tuesday, according to a post on Twitter by the Islam & Info website.

The notice, left in the mosque’s mailbox, contained death threats and insulting messages against Turks, Arabs and the community who comes to the mosque regularly.

“The war has begun. We will drive you out of our country. You will give account for Samuel’s death,” it said.

Turkey slams Charlie Hebdo for ‘cultural racism’ over Erdogan cover

Turkey condemned Charlie Hebdo for “cultural racism” over a cover of the French satirical magazine’s edition published on Wednesday that mocks President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

“French President [Emmanuel] Macron’s anti-Muslim agenda is bearing fruit!” said Fahrettin Altun, Erdogan’s communications director, describing the caricatures as “loathsome”.

“It’s clearly the product of a xenophobic, Islamophobic, and intolerant cultural environment the French leadership seems to want for their country,” Altun added.

Hello. I’m Usaid Siddiqui in Toronto, bringing you the latest updates on the backlash over French President Emmanuel Macron’s critique of Islam. Here’s a quick recap:

The deepening rift between France and the Muslim world continues on Wednesday.

The fallout widened after two events – the first was Emmanuel Macron’s speech on October 2 in which the French president said Islam was a religion in “crisis” across the world; and the second was the killing of teacher Samuel Paty for displaying caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad by controversial French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

Several street protests across the Muslim world have also broken out, including in Bangladesh and Gaza on Tuesday, calling on people to boycott French products.

On Wednesday, Charlie Hebdo published a cartoon on its cover mocking Erdogan, which the Turkish government responded by calling “loathsome” and “Islamophobic”.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies