“France will not give up its caricatures,” President Emmanuel Macron said after the assassination of French teacher Samuel Paty on October 16.
The murder is linked to the fact that Paty had shown the Mohammed caricatures in teaching.
Criticism of Islam
“He was killed because Islamists want to take our future away from us,” Macron said at a memorial service for Paty.
On Friday, the caricatures were projected on public buildings in France, which has angered Pakistan and Muslim countries.
Earlier this month, Macron described Islam as a religion in crisis. He has also announced that he will step up the fight against radical and extreme Muslims.
Condemned by Muslim countries
“Macron is contributing to further polarization and marginalization, which will inevitably lead to radicalization,” Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Sunday.
France’s ambassador to Turkey was called home last week as a result of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also reaching out to Macron.
– What can you say about a head of state who treats millions of members from different faiths in this way? First of all, get your mental state checked, Erdogan said in a televised speech on Saturday, October 24.
On Monday, Erdogan continued his criticism of Macron, comparing the way Muslims are treated in Europe to the genocide of Jews before and during World War II.
– You are fascists in the right sense. You are, in the right sense, the links in the link to Nazism, Erdogan said.
Morocco has also condemned the president’s statements. The same goes for Palestinian Hamas, Lebanese Hezbollah and Afghan Taliban.
In a letter to the French ambassador to Jordan, the head of the Amman Chamber of Commerce, Khalil Haj Tawfeeq, asked Macron to apologize to the Muslim world.
It is not just heads of state who are reacting to Macron’s proposals. In a demonstration in Pakistan on Monday, those present set fire to the French flag.
Demonstrations also took place in Turkey, Syria and Libya over the weekend, with people protesting against the French president and France.
An international boycott of French goods is now also spreading in several countries, such as Qatar and Kuwait. President Erdogan is among those who have urged both Turks and others not to trade French goods.
“Do not buy goods with French brands,” said Erdogan.
The French Foreign Ministry said on Sunday that diplomats in the countries in question had been instructed to enter into dialogue with the country’s leaders in an attempt to counter the boycott, as well as to ensure that the safety of French citizens is safeguarded.
The French employers’ organization Medef has said that the boycott is bad news for French companies that have already been hit hard by the corona pandemic.
“But it’s not even a question of agreeing to the blackmail,” Medef chief Geoffroy Roux de Bezieux told broadcaster RMC.
– This is about standing behind the republic’s values, he emphasized, and added:
– There is a time when you have to set the principle higher than business.
Other European leaders have also backed Macron. German Prime Minister Angela Merkel on Monday condemned Erdogan’s “derogatory” characteristics of Macron.
The head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, and the prime ministers of the Netherlands and Greece have also expressed support for France.
– President Erdogan’s way of referring to President Emmanuel Macron is unacceptable. The Netherlands stands firm with France and for the collective values of the European Union. For freedom of expression and against extremism and radicalization, tweeted Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte on Monday.