Pictured: Terrorist, 21, who killed three in Nice church rampage

Pictured: Tunisian migrant Islamist terrorist, 21, who beheaded woman and killed two more Catholics in Nice church rampage – after ‘Al Qaeda’ press release called for ‘jihad’ over Hebdo cartoons

  • Two terror attacks have hit France, the first at the Notre Dame basilica in Nice and the second in Avignon 
  • Tunisian migrant, named locally as 21-year-old Brahim Aoussaoui, beheaded an elderly parishioner and a male church warden, named as 45-year-old Christian Loques, before fatally stabbing a third woman 
  • Meanwhile a guard at the French consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, was stabbed and wounded by a knifeman
  • Two other men were arrested, one carrying knife near a church in Sartrouville and another with a knife in Lyon 
  • Attacks come after Macron sparked fury by defending cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed, and on the day that Sunni Muslims mark the Prophet’s birthday

Brahim Aoussaoui, a 21-year-old Tunisian migrant, killed three worshippers in the Notre Dame basilica in Nice

The Islamist terrorist who shouted ‘Allahu Akbar’ as he butchered a man and two women during an attack on a Catholic church in France today has been pictured.

Brahim Aoussaoui, a 21-year-old Tunisian who arrived in Europe on a migrant boat just last month, attacked worshippers with a 12-inch blade in the Notre Dame basilica in Nice, slitting the throat of an elderly woman near the church’s holy water in a beheading attempt.

He hacked sacristan Vincent Loques, a 54-year-old father-of-two, to death as he prepared for the first Mass of the day, while a mother in her forties also succumbed to her injuries after seeking refuge in a nearby bar after telling paramedics: ‘Tell my children that I love them’.

The assailant was shot 14 times by armed police as he screamed ‘God is greatest’ in Arabic during the attack and ‘while under medication’ as he was taken to hospital, Nice’s Mayor Christian Estrosi said. 

Aoussaoui arrived in Nice at around 6.30am via the railway station, where he quickly changed his clothes, Jean-Francois Ricard told journalists today. CCTV then showed him arriving in the church at 8.30am and staying there for nearly half an hour.  

The assailant, born in Tunisia in 1999, entered Europe via the Italian island of Lampedusa on September 20 and arrived in Paris on October 9. The travel information came from a document on Aoussaoui from the Italian Red Cross, the state prosecutor said. 

Investigators found two unused knives, a Koran and two mobile phones, in addition to a bag with some personal effects. He was unknown to French security services, Mr Ricard told a press conference.

A picture showing Aoussaoui bleeding on the floor and being treated by paramedics after he was shot by armed police outside the basilica was tweeted by the head of the respected SITE organisation. 

Elsewhere a security guard was stabbed and wounded outside the French consulate in Saudi Arabia, while two other men were arrested – one while carrying a knife near a church in Sartrouville after his father reported he was about to carry out a Nice-style attack, and another who tried to board a train in Lyon carrying a long blade. 

It was thought that police had foiled another Islamist attack in the town of Avignon when an armed man was shot dead by officers after refusing to drop his weapon.

However, it later transpired the man was part of the far-Right, anti-Islam Identarian Movement, and had made a Nazi Salute. French media initially reported the man shouted ‘Allahu Akbar’, which turned out to be incorrect. 

The killings, which occurred ahead of the Catholic holy day of All Saints Day on Sunday, prompted the French government to raise the terror alert level to the maximum ’emergency’ level nationwide.  

President Emmanuel Macron, who quickly travelled to Nice, announced increased surveillance of churches by France’s Sentinelle military patrols, to be bolstered to 7,000 troops from 3,000.

Security at schools would also be boosted, he said. ‘Quite clearly, it is France that is being attacked,’ Mr Macron said, and vowed the country ‘will not give up on our values’.

He threw his weight behind the Catholic church, saying: ‘The entire nation will stand so that religion can continue to be exercised freely in our country.’ He also called for ‘unity’ urging people ‘not to give in to the spirit of division’.

Tonight mourners attended vigils to pay tribute to the victims of the triple killing. They lit candles  outside the Notre-Dame de l’Assomption Basilica in Nice and in front of the French Embassy in Berlin. 

The attacks come amid fury across the Islamic world at President Macron for defending satirical cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed, and on the day that Sunni Muslims mark the Prophet’s birthday. 

Several Muslim-majority countries launched campaigns to boycott French products, while protesters burnt the tricolor and posters of Macron at demonstrations in Syria, Libya, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Palestine. 

Also on a day of terror for France:

  • A security guard at the French consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, was stabbed and wounded;
  • A man armed with a knife was arrested in Sartrouville near a church after vowing ‘to do as in Nice’;
  • An Afghan man was arrested in Lyon trying to board a train while armed with a long knife;
  • Malaysia’s ex-PM said that Muslims have a right ‘to kill millions of French people’ if Islam is insulted;
  • French politicians lined up to demand tougher action against what Nice’s mayor branded ‘Islamo-fascism’;
  • Online jihadists celebrated the triple killing in France and Saudi Arabia today, a report by SITE said

Vincent Loques (pictured), 45, a sacristan of the Notre Dame basilica in the city of Nice, was brutally killed as he prepared for the first Mass of the day after 21-year-old Tunisian migrant Brahim Aoussaoui attacked the church 

Three people have died after a knifeman attacked the Notre Dame basilica in Nice, before he was shot by police

An elderly woman who had come to the church early to pray was the first to be beheaded before a male church warden was also killed. A third woman was then stabbed multiple times, ran across the street, and died of her injuries

President Emmanuel Macron visits the scene of a reported knife attack at Notre Dame church in Nice

French coroners carry out the body of one of the three people killed at the Notre-Dame de l’Assomption Basilica in Nice

People light candles outside the Notre-Dame de l’Assomption Basilica in Nice following an Islamist terror attack

People mourn as they attend a commemoration for the victims killed during an in a church attack in Nice

Muslim faithfuls pray at the Notre-Dame de la Garde basilica in Marseille, south-eastern France

French police officers secure the street near the entrance of the Notre Dame Basilica church in Nice

People mourn as they attend a commemoration for the victims killed during a church attack in Nice

Young people light candles near the entrance of the Notre Dame Basilica church in Nice following a triple killing

A woman places a candle at a makeshift memorial for the victims of the Nice attack, in front of the French embassy in Berlin

Police swarmed the area around 9am, running into the church before the attacker was shot and arrested. Mayor Christian Estrosi said the attacker kept shouting Allahu Akbar even after being medicated

Emmanuel Macron arrives at the scene of the attack, where he spoke with paramedics and police officers

A security officer secures the area after a reported knife attack at Notre Dame church in Nice

Emmanuel Macron takes part in a video conference on Covid-19 with members of the European Council at the Elysee Palace

General view of the Black Carpet to pay tribute to victims of the attack in Nice today at the Cannes Festival

The first attack took place at 9am in Nice, before the second attack in Avignon two hours later. Separately, a guard at the French consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, was stabbed

In the Nice attack, the first victim – a woman in her seventies – was attacked after coming there early to pray and was found ‘almost beheaded’ close to the church font. 

The 45-year-old sacristan, Vincent Loques, a father-of-two, was then attacked and also beheaded. 

A third woman – described as of African origin and aged in her 30s – was then stabbed ‘multiple times’ and managed to flee to a bar across the street, where she died. 

Muslims ‘have a right to kill French people’, ex Malaysian PM says 

Malaysia’s former prime minister today said that Muslims have a right ‘to kill millions of French people’, shortly after a knife-wielding Islamist killed three people in a deadly terror attack in Nice. 

Mahathir Mohamad, who lost power in Muslim-majority Malaysia in February, claimed that freedom of expression does not include ‘insulting other people’ amid a row over cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed.

The 95-year-old politician said he did not approve of the beheading of a French school teacher for sharing caricatures of the Prophet, but said: ‘Irrespective of the religion professed, angry people kill’.

‘The French in the course of their history [have] killed millions of people. Many were Muslims,’ he said in a tweet which has since been removed for violating the website’s rules.

Mahathir, who has drawn controversy for comments about Jews and LGBT people in the past, went on: ‘Muslims have a right to be angry and to kill millions of French people for the massacres of the past.’ 

The Malaysian politician said that ‘by and large’, Muslims have not applied the principle of ‘eye for an eye’: ‘Muslims don’t. The French shouldn’t. Instead the French should teach their people to respect other people’s feelings’. 

Mahathir, who served as Malaysian premier twice for a total of 24 years, said that French President Emmanuel Macron was ‘very primitive’ and ‘not showing that he is civilised’.  

Police were called and arrived at 9.10am. They stormed the basilica, shooting and arresting the attacker.

The attacker is a 21-year-old Tunisian who is thought to have arrived in France via Italy, after being smuggled across the Mediterranean.

According to Italian newspaper Ill Messaggero, Aoussaoui arrived on the island of Lampedusa on September 20 before being transferred to coronavirus quarantine.

He was then taken to a migrant centre on the Italian mainland on October 9, before being told to leave Italian territory and released. From there, he made his way to France. It is not clear precisely when he arrived.

Italian security services are now investigating why Aoussaoui was freed rather than detained awaiting deportation.

Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi said Aoussaoui ‘kept shouting Allahu Akbar even after being medicated’, and that ‘the meaning of his gesture is not in doubt’. 

‘Enough is enough,’ he said. ‘It’s time now for France to exonerate itself from the laws of peace in order to definitively wipe out Islamo-fascism from our territory.’

Estrosi said the victims had been killed in a ‘horrible way’. ‘The methods match, without doubt, those used against the brave teacher in Conflans Sainte Honorine, Samuel Paty,’ he said.

Meanwhile Eric Ciotti, a local councillor, tweeted: ‘I have just asked President Macron to suspend all migratory flows and all asylum procedures, particularly at the Italian border. We must protect the French!’

In Sartrouville, north of Paris, a man was arrested around 1pm after his father called police and said his son had left home and planned ‘to do as in Nice.’

Police stopped the man in his car near a local church, and Le Parisien reports that he was in possession of a knife. The car was searched, but nothing else was found.

Meanwhile in Lyon, an Afghan man in his 20s was arrested while trying to board a tram carrying a long knife. The man was known to French intelligence services. 

In Avignon, a man armed with a handgun began threatening people in the Montfavet around 11.15am while shouting Allahu Akbar, France1 reported. 

Police rushed to the scene and confronted the man, who refused to drop his weapon. Police then shot the man with a Taser, which failed to stop him, so they opened fire with live ammunition, killing him. 

French anti-terror investigators have announced they are leading the probe into the attack in Nice, but have not yet taken up the investigation in Avignon. 

Meanwhile in Saudi Arabia, a man was arrested after stabbing a guard at the French consulate with ‘a sharp tool’. The attacker was arrested while the guard was taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries. 

France’s embassy in Riyadh condemned the ‘attack on diplomatic premises which can never be justified’. 

A woman, believed to be the wife of the church warden (wearing the beige jumper) is seen at the scene of the attack in Nice

A woman, believed to be a close friend of one of the victims, weeps in front of the basilica after three people were killed

It is thought the woman was a close friend of the church warden, named locally as Vincent L, who was killed in the attack 

French President Emmanuel Macron and Nice mayor Christian Estrosi (standing to his right) meet police officers after a terror attack at Notre Dame church in Nice

French President Emmanuel Macron, second right, Nice mayor Christian Estrosi, right, French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin, second left, and Justice Minister Eric Dupond-Moretti arrive at Notre Dame church in Nice

Police officers stand guard near Notre Dame church in Nice, southern France, after a terror attack

Special forces stand guard near the scene of a reported knife attack at Notre Dame church in Nice

A police dog handler and officers search a car parked near the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Nice

It was initially thought police had foiled another Islamist attack in Avignon, when an armed man was shot dead, but he later turned out to be a member of a far-Right organisation 

‘Eradicate this plague’: French politicians demand action to ‘wipe out Islamo-fascism’ after three die in Nice terror attack 

French politicians lined up to demand tougher action against Islamist terrorism today after three people were murdered by a knifeman in Nice. 

The triple murder is the latest in a long line of terror attacks in France in recent years, including the Charlie Hebdo massacre in 2015 and the beheading of a school teacher two weeks ago after he displayed some of the magazine’s cartoons. 

Nice’s mayor Christian Estrosi said today that ‘enough is enough… it’s time now for France to exonerate itself from the laws of peace in order to definitively wipe out Islamo-fascism from our country’. 

One of Emmanuel Macron’s party colleagues called for ‘total mobilisation’ against extremism in what another called a ‘war that the Islamists are waging on our nation’.  

Macron’s prime minister Jean Castex said France’s alert level had been raised to its highest ‘attack emergency’ setting after today’s violence. 

Within hours of the Nice attack, a gunman had been shot dead by police in Paris while a knifeman was arrested for attacking a guard at a French consulate in Saudi Arabia.  

Speaking in parliament, where he had earlier been talking about France’s new lockdown, Castex said the Nice attack was ‘as cowardly as it is barbaric’.  

French anti-terror prosecutors have opened an inquiry into what mayor Estrosi called an ‘Islamo-fascist attack.’ 

French diplomats also called on Saudi authorities to ‘shed light on this attack’ and ensure the safety of French people in the kingdom.

‘We call on our colleagues in Saudi Arabia to show maximum vigilance,’ the embassy said after Saudi security forces apprehended the suspect, who is said to be a Saudi national in his 40s.  

The Nice attack happened less than half a mile from where another attacker plowed a truck into a Bastille Day crowd in 2016, killing dozens.  

Emmanuel Macron led an emergency cabinet meeting on the attack before leaving for Nice, where he is expected to arrive shortly. 

French politicians were taking part in a debate on the country’s new coronavirus restrictions when news of the attack reached them.  

They observed a minute of silence before the debate broke up so an emergency security meeting could be held.

After the meeting, Prime Minister Jean Castex moved the threat level from ‘risk of attack’ to the ’emergency level’, meaning threats are imminent. 

Images on French media showed the neighborhood locked down and surrounded by police and emergency vehicles. Sounds of explosions could be heard as sappers exploded suspicious objects. 

The Catholic Church issued a statement, condemning the ‘unspeakable act’ and saying that ‘Christians must not become a symbol to be cut down.’ 

Catholic bishops in France called for all church bells to ring at 3pm in solidarity with the victims, before adding: ‘It is urgent that this gangrene be stopped as it is urgent that we find the indispensable fraternity which will hold us all upright in the face of these threats’ 

Pope Francis was among those leading an outpouring of sympathy, saying: ‘I pray for the victims, for their families and for the beloved French people, so that they can react to evil with good.’

Former French Presidents Nicolas Sarkozy and Francois Hollande also issued statements, the former condemning an ‘act of barbarism’ and calling on people to oppose ‘the enemies of democracy; while the latter vowed that ‘democracy is our weapon… in the face of Islamist terrorism’. 

Tunisia strongly condemned a deadly ‘terrorist’ attack at the church in Nice and said it launched an investigation after reports the assailant was Tunisian. 

‘Tunisia strongly condemns the terrorist incident in Nice and expresses its solidarity with the government and people of France,’ said a statement from the foreign ministry.

The North African state stressed its ‘rejection of all forms of terrorism and extremism,’ and warned against ‘ideological and political exploitation of religions,’ according to the statement.

Jihadists celebrate Nice terror attack as ISIS and al-Qaeda supporters call for more attacks against France in sickening online propaganda 

Online jihadists celebrated the latest terror attack on France today after three people were murdered by a knifeman in Nice on a day which also saw a gunman killed in Avignon and a guard attacked at a French consulate in Saudi Arabia. 

The latest in a long line of violent attacks in France was ‘already being celebrated massively across jihadi communities’ by late Thursday, according to the SITE Intelligence monitoring group. 

SITE director Rita Katz said it was ‘hard to recall social media celebration this massive for terrorism’ with jihadists taking to Twitter and Facebook to welcome the latest grisly murders. 

No group has yet claimed responsibility for today’s violence, but it comes amid high tensions between France and the Muslim world after a teacher was beheaded for showing Prophet Mohammed cartoons to his class two weeks ago.   

Katz said that jihadists were celebrating the attackers ‘freedom of action’ after three violent episodes in the space of a few hours. 

‘These new attacks comes amid a massive and enduring wave of jihadi media condemning France and its cartoonists,’ she said. 

A report by SITE said that jihadists were ‘overjoyed’ by the news from Nice, Avignon and Saudi Arabia today.  

Extremists linked to both ISIS and al-Qaeda have seized on the beheading of Samuel Paty earlier this month to incite more attacks against France. 

Katz said that the ‘prospect of co-ordination’ between the various attackers seemed ‘increasingly plausible’, although not confirmed. 

The assailant, who was shot by police and arrested, is reportedly a Tunisian migrant who recently arrived in France via Lampedusa, Italy, according to sources close to the case. 

Condemnation came from US President Donald Trump, UN chief Antonio Guterres, as well as European, Arab and Israeli leaders.

‘Our hearts are with the people of France. America stands with our oldest Ally in this fight,’ Trump tweeted. ‘These Radical Islamic terrorist attacks must stop immediately. No country, France or otherwise can long put up with it!’ 

Democratic White House candidate Joe Biden vowed to crack down on ‘extremist violence’ if elected.

‘Jill and I are keeping the French people in our prayers following the horrific terror attack in Nice – which targeted innocents in a house of worship,’ he said on Twitter.

‘A Biden-Harris administration will work with our allies and partners to prevent extremist violence in all forms.’

Russian President Vladimir Putin has extended his condolences to French President Emmanuel Macron and families of the victims of the attack in Nice. 

In a telegram quoted by the Kremlin, Putin called the attack ‘a cynical and a cruel crime inside a church’ and said that ‘the notions of human morals are absolutely alien to terrorists.’ 

Saudi Arabia ‘strongly condemned’ deadly stabbings Thursday in the French city of Nice, which authorities are investigating as the latest terrorist attack in France.

A knife-wielding man killed three people at a church in Nice on Thursday, slitting the throat of at least one of them, in an attack that triggered global shock.

‘We strongly condemn and denounce the terrorist attack that occurred… in Nice, France, which resulted in the death and injury of a number of people,’ the Saudi foreign ministry said on Twitter.

‘We reiterate the kingdom’s categorical rejection of such extremist acts that are inconsistent with all religions, human beliefs and common sense, and we affirm the importance of rejecting practices that generate hatred, violence and extremism.’

The French Council of Muslim Worship also issued a statement strongly condemning the attack.

‘As a sign of mourning and solidarity with the victims and their relatives, I call on the Muslims of France to cancel all the festivities of the Mawlid feast,’ which takes place on October 28 and 29. 

The attack is just the latest to strike France, after history teacher Samuel Paty was beheaded in another attack north of Paris.

Paty was stabbed by an 18-year-old Chechen after he showed the cartoons to his students during a lesson on free speech. 

Forensic officers wait outside the basilica after two people were killed inside during a terror attack in Nice

French soldiers and policemen secure the site of a knife attack in Nice

Rescue and police are mobilised because a man attacked several people with a knife in the Notre-Dame Basilica in Nice

French policemen stand guard a street after a knife attack in Nice

French policemen and firefighters stand guard a street after a knife attack in Nice

French police officers stand at a security perimeter following a knife attack at the Notre Dame Basilica church in Nice

French policemen stand guard a street after a knife attack in Nice

A security officer guards the area after a reported knife attack at Notre Dame church in Nice

French politicians were taking part in a coronavirus lockdown debate when the news reached them – and held a minute of silence in the chamber (pictured)

Players and referees at the OGC Nice v Hapoel Be’er Sheva game in Allianz Riviera, Nice, line up before the match in a minute silence to commemorate the victims of the Nice killings 

Parents of pupils at the school had led a campaign against him, before the attack took place. Seven have been arrested. 

Just a few weeks earlier, an 18-year-old Pakistani stabbed a wounded two people outside the old offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

UN extremism official blasts ‘inflammatory’ Charlie Hebdo cartoons

The head of a UN anti-extremism body expressed ‘deep concern’ Wednesday about growing tensions over satirical cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed, urging ‘mutual respect’ between people.

The statement by Miguel Angel Moratinos – who heads the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations – follows growing anger in the Muslim world over France’s response to the beheading of a teacher who had shown his pupils the images as part of a class on free speech.

President Emmanuel Macron has vigorously defended the publication of cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed on free speech grounds, sparking angry protests across swathes of the Muslim world and campaigns to boycott French products.

The UN High Representative ‘is following with deep concern the growing tensions and instances of intolerance triggered by the publication of the satirical caricatures depicting Prophet Mohammed,’ a spokesman said.

‘The inflammatory caricatures have also provoked acts of violence against innocent civilians who were attacked for their sheer religion, belief or ethnicity.

‘Insulting religions and sacred religious symbols provokes hatred and violent extremism leading to polarization and fragmentation of the society.’

The man has admitted to police that he was targeting the magazine for publishing cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed. 

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson also spoke out to condemn the attack, tweeting: ‘I am appalled to hear the news from Nice this morning of a barbaric attack at the Notre-Dame Basilica. 

‘Our thoughts are with the victims and their families, and the UK stands steadfastly with France against terror and intolerance.’

German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed ‘solidarity’ with France, saying she is ‘deeply moved by the cruel murders in a church in Nice.’   

‘I condemn the odious and brutal attack that has just taken place in Nice and I am with France with all my heart,’ European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen tweeted. 

‘We will remain united and determined in the face of barbarity and fanaticism.’  

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte condemned a ‘cowardly attack’ and said: ‘Our convictions are stronger than fanaticism, hatred and terror. We embrace the families of the victims and our French brothers. We are united!’

Spanish counterpart Pedro Sanchez added: ‘We continue to defend freedom, our democratic values, peace and the security of our citizens.’ 

A harder tone came from Hungary, where populist Prime Minister Viktor Orban wrote that the attack showed clearly ‘that our culture, our way of life and our European values are in the cross hairs of extremist terrorism.

‘We are ready to join forces in order to protect traditional European values and the traditional European way of life,’ Orban added.

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, who previously governed with far-right ministers, called the murders in Nice ‘a despicable Islamist terror attack.

‘France has our full solidarity. We will defend our values and European ‘way of life’ with all our might against Islamists and political Islam,’ Kurz said. 

It also comes amid mass protests in many Islamic countries against Emmanuel Macron, after the French President spoke up in defence of the cartoons. 

Tweeting in Arabic, he wrote: ‘Nothing makes us hold back, ever. We respect all differences in the spirit of peace. We never accept hate speech and defend rational debate. 

‘We will always stand by human dignity and universal values.’ 

His remarks have prompted demonstrations in Gaza, Turkey, Pakistan and Bangladesh, and boycotts of French products in Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar and Palestinian territories.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has led outrage at Macron, suggesting that he is mentally ill and needs to have his health evaluated.

On Thursday, Ankara said strongly condemned Thursday’s ‘savage’ knife attack in southern France that left three people dead, offering its ‘solidarity’, despite a running diplomatic spat with Paris.

‘We strongly condemn the attack committed today inside the Notre-Dame church in Nice,’ a foreign ministry statement said, while offering condolences to the victims’ relatives. 

Tunisians take part in a protest against the publication of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed in France

Thousands of protesters marched through the streets of Tunisia on Thursday, as anger at the publication of cartoon of Mohammed spread across the Muslim world

Marchers gathered on the streets of Tunisia on Thursday, following on from marches in Gaza, Bangladesh and Pakistan 

The attack is thought to have begun around 9am before police were called, and arrested the perpetrator. The area is now cordoned off

Armed police approach the church where the attack is thought to have started during Mass

Armed police are seen on the streets of Nice after the attack early on Thursday

The attack began around 9am just as Mass was getting underway at the basilica, the largest Roman Catholic church in Nice 

Police cordon off the street leading to the basilica after the attack on Thursday

Egypt’s foreign ministry said it ‘stands as a government and people with… France in combatting this hateful incident’. Qatar voiced strong condemnation and reiterated its rejection of violence and terrorism, especially against places of worship and regardless of the motives

The foreign ministry also expressed condolences to the victim’s families.

Lebanese prime minister designate Saad Hariri voiced his ‘strongest condemnation and disapproval of the heinous criminal attack,’ and urged Muslims ‘to reject this criminal act that has nothing to do with Islam or the Prophet’.

The Islamic world’s anger at France deepened on Wednesday as Turkey condemned a Charlie Hebdo cartoon showing its president Recep Tayyip Erdogan lifting a woman’s burka to look at her naked backside. 

Erdogan called the cartoonists ‘scoundrels’ and accused the West of wanting to ‘relaunch the Crusades’ by attacking Islam after the image appeared on the front of this week’s magazine.  

‘I don’t need to say anything to those scoundrels who insult my beloved prophet on such a scale,’ Erdogan said, calling it a ‘disgusting attack’. 

Erdogan’s spokesman on Thursday deflected blame over the attack in France, saying ‘we categorically deny any effort to associate us with any kind of violence.’

‘We will continue to confront any politician who insults our religion and values. We feel we owe no apology to anyone for expressing our strong opposition to racism and xenophobia,’ he said. 

‘Our President has always called for cooperation against terrorism and extremism. We renew that call while we reject the damaging rhetoric and actions against our religion and culture regardless of its ideological source.’

Showing Erdogan in a T-shirt and underpants, the caricature has Erdogan saying ‘Ooh, the Prophet’ as he looks at the woman’s backside, and comes with the caption: ‘Erdogan – in private he’s very funny’.

A Charlie Hebdo cartoon showing the naked Prophet’s backside was the image which French school teacher Paty showed to his class in the lesson which led to his murder and beheading earlier this month. 

President Macron has staunchly defended free expression and the right to mock religion in the wake of the terror attack, but has become a target of anger in the Islamic world. 

Turkey has vowed to take ‘legal, diplomatic actions’ in response to the cartoon while Pakistan’s PM Imran Khan called for an end to ‘attacks on Islam’, saying the West should be willing to treat blasphemy in the same way as Holocaust denial. 

Meanwhile Iran’s president Hassan Rouhani also took aim at France today by warning that insulting the Prophet would encourage ‘violence and bloodshed’. 

Indian Muslims burn posters of Emmanuel Macron during protest against his defence of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed

Thousands of Muslims gathered in Bhopal, India, to protest against Macron’s comments defending cartoons of the Prophet

Protesters in Bhopal also joined calls for a boycott of French products that is already underway in some Muslim countries

Pakistani journalists hold placards with the name of Mohammed on them as they demonstrate in Karachi, Pakistan

Muslims demonstrators burn posters of Emmanel Macron during a protest in Quetta, Pakistan, on Thursday


An attacker with a knife killed three people and wounded several others at a church in Nice on Thursday, police said.

The terror attack took place less than two weeks after the beheading of middle school teacher Samuel Paty by a man of Chechen origin.

Paty’s attacker said he wanted to punish him for showing pupils cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad in a civics lesson.

Here are other attacks that have taken place in France over the past few years:

Sept 25, 2020 – Two people are stabbed and wounded in Paris near the former offices of the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine, where Islamist militants carried out a deadly attack in 2015. A man originally from Pakistan was arrested 

Oct. 3, 2019 – Mickael Harpon, a 45-year-old IT specialist with security clearance to work in the Paris police headquarters, killed three police officers and one civilian employee before being shot dead by police. He had converted to Islam about 10 years earlier.

March 23, 2018 – A gunman kills three people in southwestern France after holding up a car, firing on police and taking hostages in a supermarket, screaming ‘Allahu Akbar’. Security forces storm the building and kill him.

July 26, 2016 – Two attackers kill a priest and seriously wound another hostage in a church in northern France before being shot dead by French police. Francois Hollande, who was France’s president at the time, says the two hostage-takers had pledged allegiance to Islamic State.

July 14, 2016 – A gunman drives a heavy truck into a crowd celebrating Bastille Day in the French city of Nice, killing 86 people and injuring scores more in an attack claimed by Islamic State. The attacker is identified as a Tunisian-born Frenchman.

June 14, 2016 – A Frenchman of Moroccan origin stabs a police commander to death outside his home in a Paris suburb and kills his partner, who also worked for the police. The attacker told police negotiators during a siege that he was answering an appeal by Islamic State.

Nov. 13, 2015 – Paris is rocked by multiple, near simultaneous gun-and-bomb attacks on entertainment sites around the city, in which 130 people are killed and 368 are wounded. Islamic State says it was responsible for the attacks. Two of the 10 known perpetrators were Belgian citizens and three others were French.

Jan. 7-9, 2015 – Two Islamist militants break into an editorial meeting of satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo on Jan. 7 and rake it with bullets, killing 12 people. Another militant kills a policewoman the next day and takes hostages at a supermarket on Jan. 9, killing four before police shoot him dead.

Source: Read Full Article