A rally was held on Friday afternoon 30 October 2020 in front of the the French Embassy in the nation’s capital and while condemning the killings in France, denounced French president Emmanuel Macron’s callous and cheap politics in supporting right wing islamophobia ideology and ongoing publications and displays of insulting cartoons of Prophet Muhammad (s).

The French President was roundly condemned by the speakers at the event.

In his opening statement, event organiser Mr Emad Soliman extended on behalf of the Muslim community his deepest condolence to the French people for murdered or injured victims in the attacks on the Notre Dame Church in the French city of Nice.

Mr Emad Soliman speaking at the rally.

Mr Soliman described the French President’s statement as a political pandemic “more dangerous than COVID-19 that is fed by an ideological extremism”.

Another speaker, Ms Nehad Shaaban thanked the Prophet Muhammad (s) for being a hope and mercy from Allah for all of mankind. To the applause of the crowd, she said, “I love my Prophet (s) more than myself, my husband, my children and everything”.

Ms Nehad Shaaban addressing the rally.

Community leader, primary school teacher and Imam of the Sabah Al Ahmad Masjid and Islamic Education Centre, Sheikh Adama Konda also addressed the rally. “I am not here to talk about defending the prophets of Islam, Christianity or Judaism – all of who are the best teachers who taught us how to be human beings,” he said.

“Prophet Muhammad (s),” he went on to say, “is far beyond in need of anyone in this world to defend him”. He said the table of diplomacy has been turned into a “bully pulpit” and challenged President Macron to read the Qur’an to learn about the religion and its Prophet (s) or the works of French poet, novelist and dramatist Victor Hugo who admired the noble messages of Islam and wrote poems about the religion and some of the followers of the Prophet Muhammad (s) like Omar bin Al-Khattab (r) and Ali bin Abi Talib (r).

Sheikh Konda reminded the French President how unfair it is for a leader like him to be without a vision for a united France by deliberately alienating some sectors of his society.

Canberra businessman Mr Ousmane Bamanga read out an open letter on behalf of the Australian Muslims, addressed to the French people in French.

“While we support the French people at these difficult times of COVID-19 and the deaths in Nice, we would like to appeal to the consciousness of the French President Emmanuel Macron, to refrain from further provocative “Dog Whistle Politics”, Mr Bamanga said.

Mr Ousmane Bamanga addressing the rally while passing a message to President OMacron.

Mr Bamanga delivered a copy of the Open letter and a bouquet of flowers on the grounds of the embassy.