Amid growing global condemnation of French President Emmanuel Macron for defending the blasphemous caricatures of Prophet Muhammad, Muslim leaders in Hyderabad on Friday called for a boycott of French products.
Imams or priests in their Friday sermons and Islamic leaders during their speeches on the occasion of 'Milad-un-Nabi' (the birth anniversary of the Prophet), called upon Muslims to boycott French products to show their anger over Macron's stand.
Protests against Macron were also held during Milad processions in the city. Protestors trampled on the pictures of the French president and raised slogans condemning his anti-Islam and blasphemous comments.
'Boycott French products' read a banner held by a group of Muslims at a protest organised by Tehreek-e-Islami.
Similar scenes were witnessed during the main Milad procession taken out from the historic Mecca Masjid. The protestors raised slogans denouncing Macron for defending the blasphemous cartoons.
Calls for boycott of French products were made from mosques during the Friday prayers. "The Almighty Allah sent Prophet Muhammad as the mercy for the entire mankind and president of France is insulting such a great personality. Can somebody keep quiet when his parents are insulted in the name of freedom of speech. Our Prophet is dearer to us than our parents. How can we keep quiet," asked Moulana Ahmed Qasmi, the imam of Masjid-e-Sufa in the Toli Chowki area.
He, like the imams at other mosques, urged people to boycott French products and highlight their protest through various social media platforms.
The 71st annual public meeting organised by the All India Majlis-e-Tameer-e-Millat passed a resolution condemning the blasphemy by the French president and some 'so-called intellectuals'. The intent of the attack is to provoke Muslims and paint them as terrorists by hurting their sentiments, it said.
The virtual meeting was addressed by scholars including Shaik ul Islam Dr Taher ul Quadri, Australian scholar Imam Abdul Quddus Azhari and Shaik Fakhruddin Owaisi from South Africa.
The speakers said Islam spread not through the sword but through the Islamic teachings of tolerance and protecting the rights of not just Muslims but all human beings and every living creature.
The United Muslim Forum, an apex body of various Muslim organizations and Islamic scholars, called upon Muslims to come together to give a clear message to those committing blasphemy.
The Forum, in a statement, said that the birth of Prophet Muhammad brought light and peace in the world but some anti-Islam forces scared of the growing popularity of Islam have stooped to the level of committing blasphemy in the name of freedom of speech.
It said no Muslim can tolerate the 'Islamophobia' being created in France and the blasphemy being committed there. The leaders urged the people to organize protests in a peaceful and democratic manner and send e-mails to the French embassy.
The Majlis Bachao Tehreek (MBT) also staged a protest against the French president. Its leaders appealed to Muslims to boycott French products.
MBT leader Amjed Ullah Khan demanded that the government of India sever ties with France and boycott its products as was being done in the case of China.
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