During the weekend, riots broke out throughout the Islamic world in demonstration against the recent publication of a Muhammad cartoon by France’s Charlie Hebdo, several of which resulted in death and destruction.
Referred to as “protests” by the BBC, Reuters, AP, Al Jazeera, and various others, many of the violent demonstrations reportedly occurred shortly after Friday and Saturday prayers at local mosques. For example, outside of Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque, Palestinians stormed into the streets following Friday prayers and proceeded to stomp on and burn a French flag as the crowd yelled, “Allahu Akbar!” Others were seen proudly waving the black flag of jihad. France 24 reported that the Palestinians protested “quietly,” although video evidence clearly reveals otherwise.
In Niger, Muslim radicals killed four people and set at least seven churches on fire after prayers at the Niamey Grand Mosque in the country’s capital. Several Christian shops were reportedly set ablaze with Molotov cocktails. The French cultural center in the southern town of Zinder was also reportedly set on fire. At least 43 were injured in clashes between Islamists and police.
At a rally in Somalia, Islamists held signs that read, “I am Muslim and I love my prophet.”
In Yemen, many gathered on Saturday in front of France’s Embassy in Sanaa.
In Sudan, demonstrators held signs that read, “Death for French” and “Charlie Hebdo offends the Prophet.”
The Algerian capital of Algiers saw thousands come out to protest Charlie Hebdo’s new Muhammad cartoons. Rioters reportedly threw bottles and rocks at police while chanting, “We are Muhammad.”
In Pakistan, the radical Islamist party Jamaat-e-Islami hosted several pro-Sharia, anti-free speech rallies. In one demonstration, an AFP journalist was shot in the chest. Another three were reportedly injured in the rallies, which took place in the cities of Karachi, Lahore, and Islamabad.
Demonstrations also took place in the former French colonies of Mali, Senegal, and Mauritania. In Senegal, about a thousand demonstrators marched through the streets chanting “Allahu Akbar,” while others burned French flags. Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz stood with demonstrators, saying that the cartoon was “an attack on our religion and all religions.”
Charlie Hebdo distributor MLP said the new edition featuring a drawing of Islam’s Muhammad has sold 1.9 million copies thus far. At least 5 million copies of the new Charlie Hebdo issue are expected to be printed.
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