DHAKA: Tens of thousands of protesters marched through the Bangladesh capital on Tuesday calling for a boycott of French products and burning an effigy of President Emmanuel Macron after he defended blasphemous caricatures depicting the Prophet Mohammed (P.B.U.H).
The police estimated that more than 40,000 people participated in a march organized by an Islamic party, which stopped before approaching the French Embassy in Dhaka.
Hundreds of officials used wire fences to stop demonstrators who broke up without violence.
After a teacher was beheaded for showing a cartoon to students, the French leader became the object of protests from many countries.
The rally was organized by Islamic Andron Bangladesh (IAB), one of the largest political parties in Bangladesh, and started in the largest mosque in Bangladesh.
Protesters chanted “Boycott French products” and called for Macron to be punished.
“Macron is one of the few leaders who worship Satan,” Ataur Rahman, a senior Islami Andolon told the rally at the Baitul Mukarram national mosque.
Rahman called on the Bangladesh government to “kick out” the French ambassador while another leader, Hasan Jamal, said activists would “tear down every brick of that building” if the envoy was not ordered out.
“France is the enemy of Muslims. Those who represent them are also our enemies,” said Nesar Uddin, a young leader of the group.
Even after the rally was halted, demonstrators marched down other streets chanting “Boycott France” and “Macron will pay a high price”.