Thousands of people protested against French magazine Charlie Hebdo across Pakistan on Friday for reprinting cartoons mocking the prophet Mohammad and protester were chanting death to France and calling for people of Pakistan to boycotts French product, as well as few protesters, were carrying paper with saying “Decapitation is the punishment of blasphemers”.
Cartoons on the Prophet Mohammad were first published by Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten and it triggered outrage and unrest among Muslim communities all around the world in 2005.
Earlier this week, French magazine revived the cartoons to mark the start of the trial of suspected who accomplished Islamist militant attack on Charlie Hebdo’s Paris office in January 2015.
In a January attack, 12 people killed including one police officer and one guest with Charlie Hebdo worker. The attacker said that the sought to avenge the Prophet Mohammad, a French court on Wednesday on the first day of the trial and publication of the cartoon was cited as the reason for the attack in 2015.
Tehreek-e-Laibak Pakistan (TLP) party organized rallies in Karachi country’s largest city, as well as protests, were held Rawalpindi, Peshawar, and Lahore. TLP is considered as a hairline Islamist organization as well as protester paralyzed city traffic of Karachi.
“It (reprinting of cartoons) amounts to big terrorism; they repeat such acts of blasphemy against Prophet Mohammad every few years. It should be stopped,” said Razi Hussani, district leader of TLP in Karachi.
In 2015 similar rallies were held and they turned violent when protesters tried to make their way to the French consulate in Karachi.
The government of Pakistan also condemned the reprinting of the cartoons. Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that the South Asian country believes in freedom of expression but such liberty does not mean a license to offend religious sentiment.
Pakistan’s government also condemned the reprinting of the cartoons. Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said the South Asian country believed in freedom of expression but such liberty does not mean a license to offend religious sentiment.
And he added that Charlie Hebdo has long tested the limits of what society will accept in the name of freedom of speech.
“We will never lie down. We will never give up,” Charlie Hebdo editor Riss Sourisseau described their view.