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Jakarta Post

What the West needs to understand about the cartoon protests

  • Dino Patti-Djalal


Jakarta   /   Tue, November 10 2020   /  01:00 am
Faux pas: A protester is calling for a boycott of French products during a rally on Nov. 2 against French President Emmanuel Macron for his statement on a cartoon that is deemed offensive toward Muslims. The protest was held near the French Embassy in Jakarta. (JP/Dhoni Setiawan)

As if COVID-19 and the economic recession were not enough, the world today has to bear with a wrangle between France and the Islamic world, sparked by controversy over President Emmanuel Macron’s recent statements about Islam. Macron made his comments after the gruesome beheading of French teacher Samuel Paty, who had shown a cartoon of Prophet Muhammad to his students as part of a class discussion. To be sure, Muslims do not condone — indeed they condemn — the killing of the teacher. What angered Muslims was President Macron’s statement that “we will not give up caricatures and drawings, even if others back away”. In response, Muslims around the world —in Indonesia, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Turkey, Africa and the Middle East — took to streets. It has also led to diplomatic tension between France and several governments that have ...