Al-Jazeerah: Cross-Cultural Understanding
News, January 2015
Muslims Torch French Flags and Netanyahu Photos Around the World, in Protest Against Renewed Insults Against Islam
January 17, 2015
Israeli prime minister, Netanyahu, leads the Paris March
French flags torched as Charlie Hebdo protests erupt from Algiers to Zinder
France 24, January 17, 2015
Fresh unrest erupted Saturday in Niger, with French citizens told to stay indoors amid anger in several Muslim nations over a Prophet Mohammed cartoon published by Charlie Hebdo this week. Four people were killed on Friday at protests in Zinder.
Police fired tear gas at a fresh demonstration in Niger on Saturday against French weekly Charlie Hebdo's publication of a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed, according to AFP. At least 1,000 youths assembled at the grand mosque in the capital Niamey, some of them throwing rocks at police while others burned tyres and chanted "Allahu Akbar" ("God is Greatest").
At least two churches were set on fire and France's embassy in Niamey warned French citizens to stay indoors after rioters also ransacked several French-linked businesses, including telephone kiosks run by Orange.
"Be very cautious, avoid going out," the embassy said on its website.
The unrest came a day after four people were killed and at least 45 others were injured in protests in Niger's second city of Zinder, with demonstrators ransacking three churches and torching the French cultural centre.
A doctor based in Zinder told AFP that all of the dead and three of the injured had gunshot wounds.
"We've never seen that in living memory in Zinder," a local administration official said. "It's a black Friday."
There was also bloodshed in Karachi, Pakistan, where three people were injured when protesters clashed with police outside the French consulate, officials said. Among them was an AFP photographer, who was shot in the back.
Washington condemned the violence, stressing the "universal" right of the press to publish any kind of information freely.
"No act of legitimate journalism, however offensive some might find it, justifies an act of violence," said State Department spokesman Jeffrey Rathke.
The latest issue of Charlie Hebdo features a cartoon of Mohammed on its cover holding a "Je Suis Charlie" (I am Charlie) sign under the headline "All is forgiven."
It was the first edition since brothers Cherif and Said Kouachi gunned down 12 people in an attack on the magazine's Paris offices on January 7.
Distributor MLP said the edition had sold 1.9 million copies so far, with a total of five million to be printed, compared with its usual sales of around 60,000. Newsstands in France quickly sold out of the issue in the wake of the attacks.
The image has angered many Muslims as any depictions of Mohammed are considered by some to be offensive.
On the Muslim weekly day of prayers, thousands flooded the streets of Bamako Friday in response to calls by leading clerics and Mali's main Islamic body, chanting "Hands off my prophet" and "I am Muslim and I love my prophet."
In Jordan's Amman, around 2,500 protesters set off from Al-Husseini mosque under tight security, holding banners that read "insulting the prophet is global terrorism".
There were clashes between protesters and riot police in Algiers, where up to 3,000 marchers chanted "We are all Mohammed," with some also shouting their support for the Kouachi brothers.
French flags torched
AFP photographer Asif Hassan, a policeman and a local TV cameraman were injured in Karachi when clashes broke out there between police and protesters.
A police official said the violence began when authorities prevented some 350 protesters from approaching the French consulate in the sprawling port city.
Elsewhere in Pakistan, protesters in Peshawar and Multan burned French flags on the streets while rallies were also held in Islamabad and Lahore.
In Dakar, the capital of Senegal, police fired tear gas grenades to disperse about 1,000 protesters who chanted "Allahu Akbar" and torched a French flag.
In Nouakchott in Mauritania, thousands marched chanting, "We are here to defend the prophet." Some set fire to a French flag after security forces prevented them from reaching France's embassy, witnesses said.
Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz addressed the marchers, condemning the controversial cartoon as "an attack on our religion and on all religions".
Hundreds of Palestinians demonstrated quietly in Jerusalem's flashpoint Al-Aqsa mosque compound, some with banners reading "Islam is a religion of peace!"
In Khartoum, hundreds poured out of the Grand Mosque and marched across the adjacent square, chanting "Expel the French ambassador. Victory to the Prophet of God!"
In Lebanon's flashpoint city of Tripoli, 70 people marched with banners bearing the name of the prophet and chanting.
Prayer leader Sheikh Mohammed Ibrahimi addressed hundreds of worshippers in Baddawi, on the outskirts of the city, saying: "May God punish this newspaper and those who back it."
Protests also erupted in areas of conflict-hit Syria held by rebels and jihadists with demonstrators demanding "respect for religions", said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
A protest in Tehran was cancelled, with no official reason given, as senior Iranian cleric Ayatollah Ali Movahedi Kermani told worshippers the cartoon's publication amounted to "savagery".
Qatar branded the drawing as "offensive". The cartoon was reprinted by several European papers in a show of solidarity with the victims of last week's attack.
"These disgraceful actions are in the interest of nobody and will only fuel hatred and anger," the foreign ministry warned.
Bahrain's foreign ministry echoed that, saying publication of such cartoons "will create fertile ground for the spread of hatred and terrorism". Charlie Hebdo's latest cartoon is "disgraceful" and no more than attempt to provoke Muslims and mock their beliefs, it said.
But both Qatar and Bahrain sent representatives to a massive march in Paris last Sunday in support of free speech and against the terrorist attacks on Charlie Hebdo, standing alongside French President François Hollande and many other world leaders in a show of solidarity.
(FRANCE 24 with AFP)
French centre in Niger set ablaze in Charlie Hebdo protests
Text by FRANCE 24
Latest update : 2015-01-17
At least four people were killed and a French cultural centre set ablaze in Niger’s second city Zinder on Friday after a protest against satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo turned violent.
Niger’s Interior Minister Massaoudou Hassoumi confirmed that a policeman and three civilians were killed in the unrest, which also left 45 injured.
Earlier, an angry crowd of around 50 demonstrators broke through the front entrance of the city’s French cultural centre where they set fire to the cafeteria, library and offices, ignoring warning shots fired by two police guards, the centre’s director, Kaoumi Bawa, told AFP.
The violence came as hundreds gathered in Zinder to protest against Charlie Hebdo, which defiantly ran a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed on the front page of its first issue since 12 people were killed in an attack on the publication’s offices in Paris last Wednesday.
For the majority of Muslims, any depiction of the Prophet Mohammed is considered offensive.
“It all started this morning after prayers. Several hundred people took to the city’s street as they came out of mosques shouting slogans hostile to Charlie Hebdo,” said FRANCE 24’s Africa specialist, Jean-Karim Fall.
“They attacked a number of religious buildings. The Catholic mission was completely ransacked. They also destroyed and burned a Catholic school. Several establishments, bars, were destroyed in the city,” Fall said.
According to local authorities, three churches, two Protestant and one Catholic, were vandalised in the unrest. Police used tear gas to disperse the protesters, who also set fire to French flags and tyres.
"We've never seen that in living memory in Zinder," an administration official told AFP. "It's a black Friday."
Zinder was just one of many cities across the Muslim world where protests were staged on Friday against Charlie Hebdo’s decision to publish the Mohammed cartoon.
While demonstrations in Mali, Mauritania and Senegal were peaceful, around 200 protesters clashed with police outside the French consulate in the southern Pakistani city of Karachi.
Muslims Around the World Burn Flags, Clash with Police During Protests Against Latest Charlie Hebdo Issue
KARACHI, Pakistan (TheBlaze/AP) —
Demonstrators clashed with police Friday in Pakistan, Jordan and Algeria as anger flared among Muslims over a French satirical weekly’s latest caricature of the Prophet Muhammad. A photographer with Agence France-Presse was shot and wounded, one of four people hurt in the Pakistan melee.
Supporters say the cartoon on the cover of Charlie Hebdo is a defiant expression of free speech following a terrorist attack on the publication’s Paris offices that killed 12 people on Jan. 7, but many Muslims viewed it as another attack on their religion.
There were concerns that rallies against the depiction of the prophet – an act deemed insulting to many followers of Islam – would unravel into violence in Muslim majority countries, but most of the protests were peaceful.
The new issue has a drawing of Muhammad, with a tear rolling down his cheek and a placard that reads “Je Suis Charlie” – a saying that has swept France and the world since the killings.
Pakistani protesters burn a representation of a French flag during a protest against caricatures published in the French magazine Charlie Hebdo, in Peshawar, Pakistan, Friday, Jan. 16, 2015. Pakistani students are clashing with police during protests against the French satirical magazine that was attacked last week for publishing images of the Prophet Muhammad. (AP Photo/Mohammad Sajjad)
The protests in Pakistan and elsewhere began after midday prayers Friday, Islam’s holy day.
Pakistan’s government condemned the Paris massacre, but many in this overwhelmingly Muslim country view Charlie Hebdo’s prophet caricatures as a profound insult. Protesters in the port city of Karachi, the eastern city of Lahore and the capital of Islamabad denounced the weekly.
Clashes erupted in Karachi when protesters started heading toward the French consulate, throwing stones at police, who pushed them back with water cannons and tear gas.
Photographer Asif Hassan was shot and wounded, said AFP news director Michele Leridon, although “his life does not seem in danger.” AFP said it was trying to find out whether Hassan was targeted or shot accidentally.
Police officer Naseer Tanoly said some of the protesters were armed and opened fire on the police, who shot into the air to disperse the crowd. The protesters were mostly students affiliated with the Jamaat-e-Islami political party.
Umair Saeed, an official with the party’s student wing in Karachi, denied the students had weapons and said the police had opened fire.
Three other people, including two journalists and one police officer, were treated for minor injuries and released from Jinnah Hospital, said Dr. Seemi Jamali.
About 1,000 people gathered in Islamabad to condemn the French publication. The demonstrators carried signs that read “Shame on Charlie Hebdo,” and “If you are Charlie, then I am Kouachi” – referring to the brothers Cherif and Said Kouachi, who were killed after carrying out the attack on the newspaper office. They had claimed to be sent by al-Qaida in Yemen.
A second day of protests in Lahore drew about 800 people.
Demonstrators hold up signs during a protest in Algiers, Algeria, Friday, Jan. 16, 2015. Algerian police are struggling to contain more than a thousand protesters thronging the streets of the capital denouncing cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad published by French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo. Chanting “I am not Charlie, I am Muhammad,” protesters left their mosques after Friday prayers and gathered in downtown Algiers’ May 1 square where they were met by hundreds of riot police. (AP Photo/Sidali Djarboub)
A demonstrator holds up a “Je Suis Muhammad” sign during the Friday prayers to protest against the cartoons published in French magazine Charlie Hebdo in Algiers, Algeria, Friday, Jan. 16, 2015. Algerian police are struggling to contain more than a thousand protesters thronging the streets of the capital denouncing cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad published by French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo. Chanting “I am not Charlie, I am Muhammad,” protesters left their mosques after Friday prayers and gathered in downtown Algiers’ May 1 square where they were met by hundreds of riot police. (AP Photo/Sidali Djarboub)
A Jordanian chants slogans during a protest against cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad in the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, after Friday prayers in Amman, Friday, Jan. 16, 2015. A rally by Pakistani students against a French satirical weekly’s latest publication of a Prophet Muhammad cartoon turned violent on Friday, with police firing warning shots and water cannons to disperse the demonstration. A photographer with the Agence France-Presse was shot and wounded in the melee. But although there were concerns that rallies against Charlie Hebdo’ new cover depicting the prophet � an act deemed insulting to many followers of Islam � would unravel into violence across the Muslim world, most of the protests elsewhere passed peacefully. (AP Photo/Raad Adayleh)
Jordanians gather to protest against cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad in the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, after Friday prayers in Amman, Friday, Jan. 16, 2015. A rally by Pakistani students against a French satirical weekly’s latest publication of a Prophet Muhammad cartoon turned violent on Friday, with police firing warning shots and water cannons to disperse the demonstration. A photographer with the Agence France-Presse was shot and wounded in the melee. But although there were concerns that rallies against Charlie Hebdo’ new cover depicting the prophet — an act deemed insulting to many followers of Islam — would unravel into violence across the Muslim world, most of the protests elsewhere passed peacefully. (AP Photo/Raad Adayleh)
A demonstrator hold up the Quran during a protest against caricatures published in French magazine Charlie Hebdo in Algiers, Algeria, Friday, Jan. 16, 2015. Algerian police are struggling to contain more than a thousand protesters thronging the streets of the capital denouncing cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad published by French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo. Chanting “I am not Charlie, I am Muhammad,” protesters left their mosques after Friday prayers and gathered in downtown Algiers’ May 1 square where they were met by hundreds of riot police. (AP Photo/Sidali Djarboub)
On Thursday, Pakistani lawmakers passed a resolution against cartoons of the prophet and marched outside parliament to protest Charlie Hebdo’s latest cover.
The demonstrations overshadowed smaller rallies in Islamabad and elsewhere to commemorate the Peshawar school attack one month ago by Taliban gunmen that killed 150 people, many of them children. Those attending the rallies urged the government to do more to curb support for militancy and extremism, which many say have flourished at mosques and religious schools.
In a rare protest in the Algerian capital of Algiers, thousands of young men marched to protest the French satirical newspaper. The demonstrators threw bottles and rocks at security forces, who responded with tear gas.
Protesters carried banners saying, “I am not Charlie, I am Muhammad,” and chanted slogans that date back to a banned Islamist party whose election victory in 1991 precipitated a civil war.
Some broke through police barriers and surged toward the parliament building, prompting volleys of tear gas by police and running street battles. The office of the state airline was torched.
Police eventually dispersed the demonstrators by using snow plows and tear gas, according to media reports. It was not clear how many were arrested or hurt in the unrest.
The demonstration, which had a degree of official backing when authorities called for imams to dedicate Friday prayers to the life of the prophet, was unusual for Algiers, where protests have been banned since 2001.
Video also emerged on Friday reportedly showing protesters in the town of Kafr Takharim, located in the Idlib province of northwestern Syria, burning a model of the Eiffel Tower and a French flag:
Clashes broke out in the Jordanian capital of Amman between security forces and about 2,000 protesters organized by the Muslim Brotherhood, the country’s largest opposition group. Riot police used batons to disperse the people as they tried to march to the French Embassy.
The crowd chanted slogans against Charlie Hebdo and Jordanian officials for taking part in a unity march in Paris on Sunday. The Jordanian royal household denounced Charlie Hebdo’s latest cover, saying publishing the cartoon was “irresponsible and far from the essence of freedom of expression.” King Abdullah and Queen Rania, however, took part in the Paris march in solidarity with the victims of the terror attack.
- About 160 men in Istanbul said funeral prayers to honor the Kouachi brothers.
- Several hundred worshippers marched briefly in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum, demanding the expulsion of the French ambassador.
- Saudi Arabia’s top council of senior clerics said Charlie Hebdo’s latest depiction of the prophet served extremists looking to justify murder and terrorism.
- Qatar urged Western media “to respect others and their beliefs.”
***Share this article with your facebook friends
Fair Use Notice
This site contains copyrighted material the
use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright
owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance
understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic,
democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this
constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for
in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C.
Section 107, the material on this site is
distributed without profit to those
who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information
for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml.
If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of
your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the
Opinions expressed in various sections are the sole responsibility of their authors and they may not represent Al-Jazeerah & ccun.org.
firstname.lastname@example.org & email@example.com