Thousands of Palestinians gathered on Friday at the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex in Jerusalem to protest French President Emmanuel Macron’s anti-Islamic remarks.
Preacher at Al-Aqsa Mosque Sheikh Ekrima Sabri condemned the republication of caricatures insulting the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), as well as Macron’s statements.
“The French president has declared his hostility towards Muslims around the world,” Sabri announced.
After Friday prayer, thousands of worshippers gathered at the Al-Aqsa complex, holding banners praising the Prophet Muhammad, criticising Macron and calling for a boycott of French products.
Israeli police prevented thousands of Palestinians from the occupied West Bank from reaching Al-Aqsa Mosque, impeding them from performing Friday prayer.
Following the demonstrations, eyewitnesses told Anadolu Agency that Israeli police chased the worshippers and arrested one of them, in addition to a cameraman.
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Earlier this month, Macron described Islam as “a religion in crisis” and announced plans for tougher laws to tackle “Islamist separatism” in France.
French Muslims have accused him of trying to repress their religion and legitimising Islamophobia.
Turkey has also condemned Macron’s attitude towards Muslims and Islam, with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stating that the French leader needed a “mental health check”.
Macron’s attitude towards Islam, the republication of caricatures insulting the Muslim Prophet Muhammad and their projection on the walls of buildings have triggered boycotts of French products in several countries including Qatar, Kuwait, Algeria, Sudan, Palestine and Morocco.