In the Somali capital, Mogadishu, hundreds protested insults against Islam and Prophet Muhammad on Wednesday by French President Emmanuel Macron.
The numbers of protesters kept growing by the hour but did not reach levels witnessed Tuesday when Somalis urged young people to join the worldwide campaign to boycott French products.
Shop owners closed their businesses to join the demonstrations dubbed the Million Man March.
“What the president of France did was an attack against our religion, Islam. This is just the beginning,” protester Yusuf Adan told Anadolu Agency. “We urge all Muslim countries not to ignore this. They should stand up and defend their religion. If the Christians, Hindus and others are supporting us, no one has an excuse not to condemn this profanity.”
One female protester, carrying the French flag, who asked not to be named, said: “We are out here protesting the blasphemy that we have witnessed from Macron. I am asking all the silent Muslims, what are you doing?” she said, noting that protesters will burn flags as a symbol of pain and anguish.
“His hatred of Islam is as bright as the sun in midday,” she added.
Protests occurred not only in Mogadishu but local media reported small protests under the same banner across Somali.
Calls are growing in the Muslim world to boycott French products to Macron’s controversial plans to crack down on "Islamist separatism" and continue publishing cartoons of Prophet Muhammad.
Earlier this month, Macron accused Muslims of “separatism” and described Islam as “a religion in crisis."
Tensions escalated with the murder of a French teacher who showed caricatures of the prophet to elementary school students.
Macron paid tribute to the teacher and said France would "not give up our cartoons."
Pakistan, Turkey and Iran are among countries condemning France for the caricatures and Macron's response.Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.