Some 5,000 Muslim faithful gathered in and around the Grand Mosque of the Malian capital Bamako – for the celebration of Maouloud, the anniversary of the birth of the prophet Mohammed – on Wednesday castigated the caricatures of the prophet Mohammed, at the heart of a crisis between France and the Arab-Muslim world, noted AFP journalists.
According to our colleagues from Radio France International, it is the words of French President Emmanuel Macron, in particular, that have been singled out.
Read also Caricatures: demonstrations across the Muslim world against France
Protests and boycotts …
The High Islamic Council of Mali (HCIM), the main Islamic organization in this 90% Muslim country, which called for this rally, denounces “the irresponsible, defamatory, slanderous and anti-republican speeches” of Mr. Macron “on Islam and the cartoons ”, declared its deputy secretary general, Moussa Bocar Bah.
The organization, the traditional transmission belt between power and Muslims in Mali, is demanding an “apology to the Muslim community of the world” from the French president, he added. “We condemn violence in all its forms as a means of struggle, expression and demands. Based on this observation, the High Islamic Council of Mali calls for an immediate ban on any publication of caricatures of the Prophet. “
“France and the French have crossed the line. They touched the untouchable, our prophet Muhammad. It is unforgivable ”, for his part estimated a vice-president of the HCIM, Mohamed Traoré.
“Stop provocation. Otherwise, it will get worse, ”threatened a banner unfurled in the overcrowded mosque, where the conservative Imam Mahmoud Dicko, former leader of the High Council and one of Mali’s most influential figures, was present.
During the tribute ceremony for Samuel Paty, a history professor beheaded near Paris on October 16 in an Islamist attack for showing his students caricatures of the prophet of Islam, President Emmanuel Macron promised that France would not give up these designs, in the name of freedom of expression. It has since become the target of protests in several countries.
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… are increasing in Muslim countries
On the African continent, Algeria and Morocco have reacted in their own way.
Mauritania also expressed on Monday its “indignation” at the incitement actions carried out against Islam in the name of freedom of expression, a statement from its foreign ministry said.
“The Islamic Republic of Mauritania follows with indignation the actions of incitement carried out for some time against Islam under the fallacious pretext of freedom of expression as well as the provocation of Muslims by attacking our prophet Mohammed”, underlined the Ministry.
“Also, Mauritania, while denouncing this behavior which has nothing to do with freedom of expression”, the statement continued, denounces “any act of terror committed in the name of religion against innocent people”.
Following the words of French President Emmanuel Macron, calls for a boycott of French products have also multiplied these days in Mauritania, a country that is 100% Sunni Muslim.
Read also Caricatures of Mohammed: anger in Morocco