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Indonesians rally against Macron’s statement amid COVID-19 fears

— Despite the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic, thousands of Muslims in Jakarta today staged a demonstration to protest French President Emmanuel Macron’s recent statement, which was deemed as provocative and disrespectful towards Islam.

The demonstrators gathered around the French Embassy in Jakarta at Jalan MH Thamrin, Central Jakarta, when the city is still recording high COVID-19 positive cases.

The French president had received criticism from various quarters following several actions through his populist speeches and the publication of caricatures depicting Prophet Muhammad.

On Oct 31, Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) expressed his country’s strong condemnation against Macron’s statement, which has hurt the feelings of Muslims around the world.

According to Metrojaya Police Community Relations chief (Jakarta Police) Yusri Yunus, almost 8,000 police were deployed to control the peaceful demonstration, apart from controlling another peaceful demonstration by thousands of workers protesting against the Omnibus Law on Job Creation which took place at Merdeka Square area and horse statue near Istana Negara.

The Indonesian parliament recently passed a law on the workforce on Oct 5, but it is reported that Jokowi has yet to sign it.

A recent series of demonstrations in Jakarta and other cities in Indonesia opposing the Omnibus Law on Job Creation, sparked concerns of a demonstration cluster when Indonesia is still recording more than 2,500 new COVID-19 positive cases daily since August.

According to data posted on the official twitter page of the Indonesia’s National Disaster Management Agency @BNPB_Indonesia today, a total of 2,618 new COVID-19 positive cases were recorded within 24 hours, bringing the total positive cases in the republic to 415,402.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

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