Anti-Charlie Hebdo demonstrations in Chechnya, Afghanistan
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Some 800,000 people protested in Chechnya at French satirical paper Charlie Hebdo’s latest depiction of the prophet Mohammed. Hundreds also demonstrated in Jalalabad, eastern Afghanistan.
A huge crowd packed the streets of the Chechen capital, Grozny, on Monday, chanting “Allah Akbar!” (God is great) and brandishing placards declaring their love for the prophet.
“This is a demonstration against those who insult the Muslim religion,” the president of the Russian republic, Ramzan Kadyrov told the crowd in front of the huge mosque he built in homage to his father, Akhmad Kadyrov, who was president until his assassination in 2004. “We will never allow anyone to insult the name of the prophet, whoever they are.”
Earlier Kadyrov dubbed oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovski, an opponent of Russian President Vladimir Putin, an “enemy of all Muslims” for urging Russian papers to print the caricature that appeared on the front page of the issue of Charlie Hebdo that appeared after Islamist gunmen killed 12 people in an attack on its premises.
About 15,000 people demonstrated in neighbouring Ingushetia on Saturday.
Although Russian Foreign Affairs Minister Sergei Lavrov attended the massive Charlie Hebdo solidarity march on 11 January, Russia’s press watchdog has discouraged papers from carrying the cartoons.
About 500 people demonstrated in the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad, burning a French flag and shouting “Death to France!”.
Organisers demanded that the government break off diplomatic relations with France until it apologises for the cartoon’s publication.
President Ashraf Ghani on Saturday described it as “irresponsible”.
Forty-five Christian churches were subjected to arson attacks in Niger's capital, Niamey, at the weekend during anti-Charlie Hebdo riots that left five dead and 128 injured, police said on Monday.
A Christian school and orphanage were also set alight, spokesperson Adily Toro told a press conference.
The Chinese state-run paper Global Times advised “French society” to “stop representing the prophet” on Monday but its ire was principally aimed at less well-known French satirical paper, Fluide Glaciale.
Its latest front page shows a European pedalling a cycle-rickshaw carrying a Chinese man and blonde woman through the streets of Paris under the headline “Yellow peril, is it too late already?”