Macron backing Prophet Muhammad’s cartoon angers the Islamic World
Last week, French President Emmanuel Macron in a speech publicly defended the cartoon of the prophet Mohammed, which is viewed as blasphemy in Islam, angered the entire Islamic World.
Macron’s comments came a week ago at a national tribute for the teacher Samuel Patty. Patty, a 47-year-old teacher in France was beheaded near his school by an 18-year-old radical refugee of Chechen descent named Abdoullakh Abouyedovich Anzorov.
Patty was killed because he had shown his students the controversial cartoon of Prophet Mohammed as part of a debate on free speech, stating that if any who finds it offending can look away or can leave the classroom.
In 2015, 12 individuals were executed in an assault on the office of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, which had published the cartoons. A visual depiction of the prophet is strictly forbidden in Islam and considered blasphemy.
On Oct 2, before Patty’s killing, President Macron had declared plans for stricter laws to handle what he termed “Islamist separatism” in France. He expressed that France’s minority assessment of around six million Muslims was at risk for shaping a “counter-society”, depicting Islam as a religion in crisis.
In a lengthy address, Macron tried to be nuanced on the most proficient method to blend Islam and French secularism. It included various plans to regulate imams and mosques.
A perplexing discourse like this one doesn’t take long to become the cause of contention and an objection abroad, particularly in Turkey. After Macron assured that France would not “dismiss the caricature”, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan urged citizens of Turkey to boycott French goods on Monday in protest.
Erdogan, who has already had contentious relations with Macron, stated that France was seeking an anti-Islam agenda and he also called on all Turkish citizens to stop buying French goods.
Erdogan also launched a new attack on the French President, saying that Macron required a mental checkup over his disposition towards Islam and Muslims, forcing Paris to recall its envoy in Ankara.
Kuwait on the other hand has removed all L’Oreal products from its supermarket racks after the growing social media campaign against Macron.
On Sunday, Morocco also joined the campaign of denouncing and boycotting French goods. Moreover, protestors in Bangladesh were seen holding placards saying Macron is the enemy of peace along with a photo of the French President.
Egypt’s most eminent religious authority, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, and Iran’s FM Mohammad Javad Zarif have also censured France and required a ban on French products.
On Monday, Pakistan had summoned the French envoy in Islamabad, a day after Pakistani PM Imran Khan stated that the French President had attacked Islam, Reuters reported.
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The same day, many protestors gathered outside the French Embassy in Baghdad and called on Iraqis to denounce President Macron’s statement over the Prophet’s cartoon.
As per France24, a cleric at the demonstration, Aqil al-Kadhemi, demanded an apology from the French PM to all the Muslim community for disrespecting the Prophet as a visual depiction of him is strictly prohibited in Islam.
In Jordan, Iran, Qatar, and Kuwait, many supermarkets shelves were stripped of French products. In a statement, the French FM stated that these calls for blacklist are outlandish and should be stopped immediately. Moreover, also all attacks against our nation, which is being pushed by radical minority groups.”
Yet, few European leaders stood behind Macron in support, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose representative censured Erdogan’s remarks. German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas stated Berlin remained in solidarity with Paris. The heads of Greece and Austria have likewise communicated support for Macron.