New Delhi, Sept 20 (ANI): French community in India on Thursday has been asked to be on high alert in India ahead of Friday’s prayers, fearing retaliation by Muslims angered by the publication of cartoons mocking Prophet Mohammed.
Embassies and Consulates have stepped up security throughout the country and French schools and cultural centre have been ordered to close.
Security has been beefed up in and around the Embassy of France as well as the French Cultural Centre and Alliance Francaise, the academy of French language here as a precautionary measure against possible anger of Muslims following the publication of cartoons in the French media, derogating Prophet Mohammad.
Speaking to reporters, Carole Payre,a French national currently residing here, noted that religious faith is a personal issue over which one should not rake up a communal issue of ‘Your God versus my God’.
“If you are a believer in something, you are strong enough to believe that certain things are good and others are bad. You can make your opinion and I do not think you should care too much about what other people are telling you about it. It is your personal opinion inside you. Religion is a very personal thing,” Payre said.
The allegedly deprecating drawings appeared in the satirical weekly ‘Charlie Hebdo.’
It featured several caricatures of the Prophet showing him naked in what the publishers said was an attempt to poke fun at the furore over the film ‘Mohammad: a star is born”, depicted a bearded figure crouching over to display his buttocks and genitals.
French students expressed concerns over a potential attack by irked Muslims in wake of the controversial cartoons.
“Since that cartoon was published in a French magazine, French people can be targeted by the Muslim extremists, and that is why we feel unsafe today, everywhere in the world,” said a French national, Marie. (ANI)