‘Respect Our Prophet’ Image of Emmanuel Macron Burnt Outside London French Embassy

Protesters gather at the French embassy in London, Friday, Oct. 30, 2020 to protest against French President Macron. Protesters are demonstrating over the publication of pictures and what they see as disrespect of the Prophet Muhammad, in the wake of the terror attack in Nice, France. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
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Police broke up an illegal protest outside the French embassy Friday, citing coronavirus restrictions, after a Muslim prayer meeting threatened to get carried away.

Over 100 protesters rolled out rugs to pray and listen to speeches at the demonstration on Friday afternoon, before the crowd surged towards the doors of the embassy and London’s Metropolitan Police moved to intervene.

Protesters carrying “Islam is the religion of love & peace” signs watched as a portrait of French President Emmanuel Macron was set on fire to chants of “Allah hu Akbar” [our god is the greatest]. Behind the line of regular police officers, a pair of heavily armed diplomatic protection officers stood at the front door of the embassy.

Despite a great number of attendees electing to not wear masks, policing of the event was a relatively light touch, at least for the first hour. Officers then split the group, pushing protesters away from the embassy and then down the street. At that point, a number of protesters were cuffed for failing to adhere to Britain’s strict mask-wearing rules.

Police cited coronavirus restrictions as their reasoning for shutting down the event, London’s Evening Standard reports, which noted a force spokesman said the protest had failed to file a risk assessment beforehand, and the gathering was therefore unlawful.

The protest came in the wake of a series of Islamist terror attacks in France. French President Emmanuel Macron’s response to the attacks have angered some in the Islamic world, including the leaders of Turkey and Pakistan. Turkey’s Erdogan has called Macron mentally unwell for his crackdown on radicals — including shutting down a mosque in the aftermath of a terrorist beheading — and Pakistan’s Khan accused Macron of “attacking Islam” itself.

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