Protests against Charlie Hebdo cartoons continue in all major cities

Published: January 18, 2015
Supporters of Jammat-e-Islami participate in a protest against the printing of sacrilegious material by French magazine Charlie Hebdo in Karachi on January 18, 2014. PHOTO: AFP

Supporters of Jammat-e-Islami participate in a protest against the printing of sacrilegious material by French magazine Charlie Hebdo in Karachi on January 18, 2014. PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD: Protests against French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo were held across Pakistan on Sunday as thousands of people in almost all major cities chanted slogans against the publication of blasphemous cartoons.

Workers from both religious and secular political parties gathered in Lahore, Karachi, Islamabad, Quetta, Peshawar, Multan and many other cities and burnt effigies of French president Francois Hollande and of cartoonists at the magazine along with French flags.

More than 2,000 people marched in Karachi, where the Jamaat-e-Islami party organised a rally at the Quaid-e-Azam’s mausoleum.

A delegation of Christian pastors also took part to show solidarity with their Muslim countrymen.

Elsewhere in Karachi, dozens of members of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf rallied against the magazine and the French government.

A delegation visited the residence of the French consul-general to submit a resolution demanding Paris ban the magazine “for spreading religious hatred in the world”, a party spokesperson said.

In Lahore, around 6,000 people attended a rally by religious groups. Speakers urged Pakistan to sever relations with France.

In Quetta, protesters trampled the French flag before burning it, along with pictures and effigies of the French president.

Around 200 people in Islamabad gathered outside the national press club and burnt effigies of the cartoonists.

In Multan, protesters shouted “We are not Charlie, we are Kouachi” —  a reference to the “Je Suis Charlie” rallying cry of French protesters, and to one of the two brothers who killed 12 people at the magazine.

On Friday at least three people were injured — including an AFP photographer who was shot — in clashes between anti-Charlie Hebdo protesters and police outside the French consulate in Karachi.

The protest by the student wing of the Jamaat-e-Islami was one of several staged across Pakistan by religious groups after Friday prayers.

In 2012, 21 people were killed and 229 wounded, mainly in clashes with police, following the publication of previous cartoons by Charlie Hebdo and the broadcast of a US-made anti-Islam film.

Protests against cartoons by a Danish paper left five dead in 2006.

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Reader Comments (5)

  • Pakistani
    Jan 18, 2015 - 8:03PM

    To the beards, my message is protest if you wish, becuase that is your democratic right, but do not abuse people, destroy state or private property, or praise murderers of innocent people.

    You are hurting the feelings of the families of victims in Paris.

    Also if you want to do something for Pakistan, pick up a broom, and start cleaning the streets, pick up litter and teach people not to litter. Focus on something positive.


  • woody
    Jan 18, 2015 - 9:07PM

    Pakistanis like to protest over things they have no control over and tend to blame outsiders for most of Pakistan problems. Who believes that protesting in Pakistan is going to influence atheists in France? In case you didn’t know it atheist believe all religion is superstitious nonsense.
    How about protesting poor governance, failure to implement LNG, Taliban apologist, out of control madrassas, corruption, or inept judiciary? At least you have a fighting chance for influencing change.


  • Usman
    Jan 19, 2015 - 12:52AM

    Severing relations with France or other countries won’t help. We lack in technology and education by leaps and bounds. We need to understand that in this age you can’t defeat anyone by merely coming out on streets. Muslims around the world have to inspire the world with their good mannerism and progressive thinking. I wish this would actually happen some day. Amen


  • French Poor
    Jan 19, 2015 - 9:15AM

    Pakistan to sever relations with France…!! Oh please don’t do this – if you serve the relation with France then the poor French country will suffer a lot, also all those French nationals those who are working in Pakistan will lose their job and France don’t have the capacity to feed them when they return back to France from Pakistan…!! I am pleading Pakistan please don’t sever your relationship with us – we can’t live with out your support, financial aid and relationship…!!


  • rob
    Jan 19, 2015 - 9:47AM

    protest, fine…. but don’t shoot us for what we say… all four of those worthless people responsible for the attack on Charlie should have had a bullet put in their heads immediately…


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