Moscow: Grand Mufti of Libya Sadiq Al-Ghariani, head of Islamic jurisconsults in the country, has called for organization of a series of demonstrations across western Libya to condemn a recent speech by French President Emmanuel Macron, in which he defended the use of cartoons of Islamic prophet Muhammad as manifestation of freedom of speech, the media reported on Monday.
During his speech at a commemoration ceremony for French history teacher Samuel Paty, brutally killed by a radicalized teenager, Macron stressed that France would nonetheless continue to defend freedom of expression and fight Islamic threat by curbing foreign influence on the Muslim religion within France and control over mosques’ funding. Macron’s statements on Islam were also condemned by other Arab and Muslim countries, including Turkey, Morocco as well as the Taliban movement in Afghanistan. According to the RFI broadcaster, protests were staged on Sunday, however, they attracted only several dozens of protesters in Tripoli. They were holding portraits of Macron crossed out with a red line and signs that read: “Everything except the prophet [Mohammad].”
More demonstrators gathered in other parts of western Libya following calls by Al-Ghariani to protest against Macron’s words on the caricatures via Tanasoh TV Channel, the media outlet reported. History teacher Paty was killed by beheading in Paris outskirts on October 16. The attacker, a Chechen teenager, killed Paty after he showed caricatures on Muhammad to his students during lessons on freedom of speech. He was shot dead by police, but the murder of Paty triggered national unrest over the increased Islamic threat.