Protesters stage anti-France demonstration outside French embassy in Beirut

Protesters stage anti-France demonstration outside French embassy in Beirut
Anti-France protests took place outside the French embassy in Beirut on Friday.
2 min read
30 October, 2020
Members of the Hizb ut Tahrir group gathered to protest in Beirut [Getty]

Anti-France protests took place in Lebanon's capital on Friday, amid growing anger towards France in Muslim-majority countries.

Hundreds of members of the Islamist group Hizb ut Tahrir travelled to Beirut to partake in a demonstration in front of the French embassy in Beirut to protest against Islamophobia in France.

Footage of buses being packed with demonstrators from Tripoli, Lebanon's second largest city, en route to Beirut holding black flags and chanting the Muslim declaration of faith: "There is no God but God himself and Muhammad is his his Prophet."

Protesters are being blocked off by police and they have reportedly clashed with security forces in the capital's Barbir area.

Similar protests have taken place in Pakistan, Palestine, Somalia, Afghanistan and other places across the world as tensions rise.

Read also: Former Malaysian PM Muslims have right to kill French in deleted tweet

The protests come amid deepening hostility between France and Muslim-majority nations, which flared up earlier this month when a young Muslim beheaded a French schoolteacher who had shown caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad in class.

Those images, republished by the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo to mark the opening of the trial for the deadly 2015 attack against the publication, have stirred the ire of Muslims across the world who consider depictions of the prophet blasphemous.

In the aftermath, Macron issued a passionate defence of free speech and France's secular way of life, vowing that the country "will not give up cartoons".

Major anti-France protests have been held in Muslim-majority nations across the world, including in Bangladesh, Syria and Libya, while French goods have been pulled from supermarket shelves in Qatar, Kuwait and other Gulf states.

Leaders from European nations including Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Greece have rallied behind Macron as the backlash has widened.

A series of attacks that French authorities have attributed to Muslim extremism ensued. On Thursday, a knife-wielding Tunisian man carrying a copy of the Quran killed three people at a church in the Mediterranean city of Nice. That same day, a Saudi man stabbed and lightly wounded a security guard at the French consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, prompting France to urge its citizens there to be on “high alert.”

Attacks on Muslims have also been reported in France, including one incident in which two veiled Muslim women were stabbed by two women near Paris' Eiffel Tower.

Both victims claimed their attackers called them "dirty Arabs" and told them: "This is not your home."

Agencies contributed to this report.

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