A religious school in Islamabad, Pakistan staged a mock beheading in a show of warning following a recent row over Prophet Muhammad's cartoons in France. A video clip of the mock beheading shared on Twitter showed female Islamic religious leaders threatening vengeance on the West, and France in particular, for "insulting" the Prophet.
The mock beheading was staged at Jamia Syeda Hafsa, an all-girls' religious school in the country's capital city and the religious leaders encouraged young students to retaliate over the cartoons of Islam's prophet. The students sat on the school ground holding protest placards and watch the leaders behead an effigy. The school also posted the video on its Facebook last week, but the video gained attention after a Twitter user posted it on the micro-blogging website.
"We will never stop until we exact vengeance for your insult," one of the religious leaders said, referring to the beheading of French history teacher Samuel Paty.
France Cartoon Row
On Oct. 16, an Islamist teen killed Paty for showing cartoons of the Prophet in one of his classes. French investigators believe the 47-year-old teacher was a target of online hate campaign over the Prophet's caricatures. Depiction of the Prophet in any form is considered blasphemous in Islam.
Following the beheading, French President Emmanuel Macron said France "will not give up cartoons." Muslims leaders across the world reacted strongly over the comments and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan led the calls to boycott French products. Soon countries such as Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia supported the boycott. Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan accused Macron of encouraging Islamophobia.
Prophet Muhammad's Portrait Shown on China's State TV
Amid the cartoon controversy, a Chinese period drama broadcast on China's state-run channel showed the Prophet's portrait. The drama showed an ambassador from an Arab nation gifting the portrait to an emperor from the Tang Dynasty. While presenting the portrait, the ambassador said: "This is the portrait of the God of our country, Muhammad."
A Uighur rights activist shared a clip from the show on Twitter and opened up a debate on whether Muslim leaders will call for a boycott of Chinese products just like they did for French products. Social media users also criticized the Muslim leaders for selective outrage and ignoring the plight of Uighur Muslims in China.