Muslim organizations of New York to protest in front of French consulate

"The Muslim world will not tolerate such blatant disrespect of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and stands in solidarity with their French Muslim brothers and sisters," the council said.

French President Emmanuel Macron and French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe attend a meeting with members of the Citizens' Convention on Climate (CCC) to discuss over environment proposals at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France June 29, 2020 (photo credit: REUTERS/CHRISTIAN HARTMANN)
French President Emmanuel Macron and French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe attend a meeting with members of the Citizens' Convention on Climate (CCC) to discuss over environment proposals at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France June 29, 2020
(photo credit: REUTERS/CHRISTIAN HARTMANN)
Muslim organizations across New York plan to protest in front of the French Consulate in Manhattan on Sunday, in response to recent remarks by French President Emmanuel Macron in a row about cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.
"The French President is directly provoking the Muslim world in his support of offensive and vulgar depictions of the beloved Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)," the Islamic Leadership Council of New York said in a press release. PBUH is the acronym for "peace be upon him."
"Moreover, he continues to directly terrorize the French Muslim community by raiding private homes and mosques over baseless accusations in the aftermath of the attack against a French teacher," it added.
The council said that even before his most recent comments, Macron had been on a "crusade against Muslim communities" and accused the French president of "further alienating an already marginalized" society.
"The Muslim world will not tolerate such blatant disrespect of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and stands in solidarity with their French Muslim brothers and sisters," the council said.
Tens of thousands of Muslims protested from Bangladesh to Pakistan and the Palestinian territories on Friday after killings in a French church prompted a vow from Macron to stand firm against attacks on French values and freedom of belief.
Thousands of Palestinian worshipers rallied after Friday prayers at Al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest site in Islam, in Jerusalem's walled Old City to condemn the republication of Muhammad caricatures in France. "A nation whose leader is Muhammad will not be defeated," protesters chanted.
"We hold the French president responsible for acts of chaos and violence that are taking place in France because of his comments against Islam and against Muslims," said Ikrima Sabri, the preacher who delivered the sermon at Al Aqsa.
In Ramallah, Palestinians burned French flags and trampled on a large one.
In Gaza, ruled by the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, hundreds of Palestinians took part in anti-France rallies, chanting: "With our souls and blood we will redeem the Prophet."
In Lebanon, security forces fired tear gas to drive back some 300 protesters, including supporters of a local Sunni Islamist party who marched from a mosque in the capital Beirut to the official residence of the French ambassador.
The dispute has its roots in a knife attack outside a French school on October 16 in which a man of Chechen origin beheaded Samuel Paty, a teacher who had shown pupils the cartoons in a civics lesson on freedom of speech.
France has allowed displays of the cartoons, which are considered blasphemous by Muslims.
"We will not give up caricatures and drawings, even if others back away," Macron said in his original comments, sparking the conflict.
France raised its security alert to the highest level on Thursday after a knife-wielding man shouting "Allahu Akbar" (God is great) beheaded an elderly woman in a church and killed two more people before being shot and taken away by police.
"We will not give any ground," Macron said outside Notre Dame Basilica in the French Riviera city of Nice. France had been attacked "over our values, for our taste for freedom, for the ability on our soil to have freedom of belief," he added.

Reuters and Zachary Keyser contributed to this report.