Angry Islamist group in Nigeria burns France flag
Some members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) on Tuesday burned the flag of France in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja following comments by President Emmanuel Macron on the cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad published in a magazine.
Many Muslims have called the cartoons “blasphemous”.
In an interview with Al Jazeera on Saturday, Macron said he understood the sentiments expressed by Muslims about the cartoons, but had a duty to protect the rights - such as freedom of speech - of citizens of his country.
«You have to understand my role right now, it's to do two things; to promote calm and also to protect these rights Said Macron.
«I will always defend in my country, the freedom to speak, to write, to think, to draw. I think the reactions are the result of lies and distortions in my words because people understood that I was supporting these cartoons ”.
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But the president's comment sparked anti-French protests across the Muslim world. During their march in Abuja, members of the IMN burned the flag of France while chanting songs.
In a statement, Sidi Munir, an IMN member, described the post as an attack on Muslims.
"We set the flag of France on fire in reaction to the attack on Islam and Muslims by French President Emmanuel Macron since the heinous crime of publishing caricatures of the Prophet by Charlie Hebdo magazine“Munir said in a statement released during the protest.
«This is why we applaud the current campaign through Muslims and all lovers of peace and humanity. ”
The protest caused panic in Wuse market where it ended. Some traders hastily closed their stores in panic over the possibility of an outbreak of violence.