Macron Opens Floodgates for Muslim Backlash as He Insists on Insults
By Staff, Agencies
Numerous Muslim states and peoples denounced French President Emanuel Macron’s persisting support for blasphemy in his country against Prophet Muhammad [PBUH].
“We will not give in, ever,” Macron tweeted on Sunday. The tweet served to back up his earlier support for a French teacher’s displaying of cartoons insulting of the Prophet of Islam in his class under the pretext of “freedom of speech.”
“France will never renounce caricatures,” Macron had declared on Wednesday, defending the teacher for “promoting freedom.”
The teacher Samuel Paty was murdered by an 18-year-old Chechen assailant. Commenting on the attack, Macron described Islam as a religion “in crisis” worldwide, trying to suggest that the assailant had been motivated to kill the teacher by the faith rather than radicalism.
The comments have raised controversy and provoked a wave of criticism from the Muslim world.
On Sunday, the Gulf Cooperation Council [GCC] described Macron’s position as “irresponsible,” and said it was aimed at spreading a culture of hatred among peoples.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who had called on Macron to have his mental status examined for defending blasphemy, repeated the call on Sunday. Macron "is a case and therefore he really needs to have [mental] checks," Erdogan said.
In a statement, Kuwait’s Foreign Ministry warned that attempts at linking Islam to terrorism “represents a falsification of reality, insults the teachings of Islam, and offends the feelings of Muslims around the world.”
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan also hit out at Macron for "attacking Islam clearly without having any understanding of it."
Khan urged Macron to rather address the marginalization and polarization that is being committed against minorities in France that “inevitably leads to radicalization."
Jordan's Islamic Affairs Minister Mohammed al-Khalayleh said "insulting" prophets is "not an issue of personal freedom but a crime…," and Morocco’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said continuing publication of such “offensive” is an act of provocation.
Palestinian and Lebanese resistance movements, Hamas and Hezbollah have also condemned Macron’s position.
Protests were, meanwhile, reported in the Gaza Strip, Syria, and Libya as well as elsewhere throughout the Muslim world.
Many Muslim companies and associations, meanwhile, have stopped handling or serving French items in protest.
Hashtags such as the #BoycottFrenchProducts in English and the Arabic #ExceptGodsMessenger trended across many countries, including Kuwait, Qatar, Palestine, Egypt, Algeria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey.
The French Foreign Ministry, however, reacted angrily to the bans. "The calls for a boycott are groundless and must be stopped immediately, like all attacks against our country committed by a radical minority," it alleged, trying to associate the protests with “radicalism.”