Thousands protest in Pakistan over reprinting of Mohammad cartoons in France

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KARACHI, Pakistan (Reuters) – Tens of thousands of people protested across Pakistan on Friday against French magazine Charlie Hebdo’s reprinting of cartoons mocking the Prophet Mohammad, chanting “Death to France” and calling for boycotts of French products.

“Decapitation is the punishment of blasphemers,” read one of the placards carried by protesters.

Friday’s protests were organized by the hardline Islamist Tehreek-e-Laibak Pakistan (TLP) party with rallies held in Karachi, the country’s largest city, as well as in Rawalpindi, Peshawar, Lahore and Dera Ismail Khan.

Protesters paralysed traffic in Karachi, Pakistan’s financial and business capital.

“It (re-printing of cartoons) amounts to big terrorism; they repeat such acts of blasphemy against Prophet Mohammad every few years. It should be stopped,” said Razi Hussani, TLP district leader in Karachi.

Also the Times of India

The publication’s move sparked condemnation from Pakistan’s foreign ministry along with calls from Islamists to hold protests following Friday prayers, spurring thousands to mass in cities where they called for boycotts and the French ambassador’s expulsion.

“We need to send a strong message to the French that this disrespect to our beloved prophet will not be  tolerated,” protester Muhammad Ansari said during a demonstration in the eastern city of Lahore.

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