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Islamabad Blocked off in Pakistan Anti-France Protests 

Nov 16, 2020

Pakistan Prime Minister, Imran Khan, has lodged a complaint with France over it’s ‘systematic Islamophobic campaign’. Pakistan authorities sealed off a major road into Islamabad, the country’s capital, for a second day in new anti-France protests. Pakistan has seen a small sprinkling of protests in recent weeks since French President Emmanuel Macron’s hate speech remarks on Islam, and over the caricatures of Prophet Muhammed (Peace be Upon Him) having been publish in, and defended by, France.

Al Arabiya reports that a rally on Sunday in neighboring Rawalpindi attracted up to 5 000 people and continued into Monday.

The protests had been called by cleric Khadim Hussain Rizvi, and organized by his party, Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan.

According to Al Arabiya, around a thousand protesters gathered at a major roadblock into Islamabad rendering it unable to be effective. Commuters, meanwhile, had had to use alternate roads into the city.

Mobile phone services had been suspended for over 24 hours to prevent rally organizers from coordinating with each other. Services were only restored on Monday afternoon.

Macron’s comments had ignited anger across the Muslim world, with several Muslim countries organizing anti-French boycotts.

Al Arabiya reports that Prime Minister Imran Khan also encouraged Islamic countries to work together to act against the ‘growing repression’ in Europe.

Umm Muhammed Umar

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