Pakistani Protesters In Lahore Demand Charlie Hebdo Cartoonists Be 'Hanged Immediately'

Protesters in Pakistan marched through Lahore on Thursday calling for the deaths of the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists. Around 300 people from a little known Pakistani religious group rallied, carrying placards that read "Down with Charlie Hebdo" and a banner demanding that those drawing the prophet's caricatures be hanged. The rally started from a main thoroughfare in the heart of the city and culminated outside the US Consulate.

Also in Thursday, Pakistani lawmakers marched past the parliament in Islamabad in protest at the drawing of the Prophet on the big-selling cover of Charlie Hebdo this week. According to Religious Affairs Minister Sardar Mohammad Yousuf, politicians earlier passed a resolution condemning the publication of the magazine, which may Muslims consider sacrilege. Like many nations, Pakistan has condemned last week's deadly rampage at the Paris office of the Charlie Hebdo weekly, which killed 12 people, including editors, cartoonists and two policemen.

According to the AP, the resolution was mostly symbolic. Yousuf did not say how many legislators were present, but he stressed that lawmakers from all political parties backed the measure. The resolution also condemned violence under any pretext. After the vote a group of lawmakers marched outside parliament, chanting: "In the name of the prophet, we're ready to die."

The minister said the resolution would be sent to all foreign missions in the country and to the United Nations, to register Pakistan's protest against the cartoons, which "hurt our religious sentiments deeply." Islam generally forbids depictions of the Prophet Muhammad, and many in Muslim-majority Pakistan view the cartoons as blasphemous.

The magazine has invoked freedom of speech to defend its publications of cartoons that many Muslims and non-Muslims alike consider offensive. On Tuesday in the northwestern city of Peshawar, a hard-line cleric led a memorial service for the brothers Said and Cherif Kouachi who attacked the satirical paper and praised their assault. About 40 people attended, with some carrying banners condemning the magazine and chanting praise for the Kouachis.

In France, Funerals were held for staff killed in the attack on irreverent newspaper amid continued huge demand for its first post-attacks edition.

Charlie Hebdo Protests And Funerals

Dave Brown, The Independent

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