The President of the French Republic, Emmanuel Macron, has for several days come under fire from criticism from part of the Muslim world, after his comments on the cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad. During a tribute paid to the murdered history and geography professor Samuel Paty on Wednesday at the Sorbonne, He had thus promised “Do not give up” to the latter. An outrage for certain political and religious leaders, elected officials but also ordinary citizens.
France asked, Sunday, October 25 evening, the governments of the countries concerned by this wave of protest to “stop” the calls to boycott French products and the demonstrations, coming, according to Paris, from a “Radical minority”. The French authorities also want the latter to commit to ” Ensure the security “ French people living on their soil.
“Freedom, we cherish it”, writes Macron on Twitter
On Sunday evening, Emmanuel Macron spoke on Twitter in three languages, a rare occurrence. “Our history is that of the struggle against tyrannies and fanaticisms. We will continue “, wrote the president of the republic, also the target of direct attacks by his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Freedom, we cherish it; equality, we guarantee it; fraternity, we live it with intensity. Ri… https://t.co/7DxgrL7cmQ
“Freedom, we cherish it; equality, we guarantee it; fraternity, we live it with intensity. Nothing will make us back down, ever ”, tweeted the head of state, before adding this message – also translated in Arabic and in English :
” We will continue. We respect all differences in a spirit of peace. We never accept hate speech and stand for reasonable debate. “
From the Maghreb to the Middle East, several voices have been raised to denounce the French attitude
In Algeria, the leader of the Islamist Justice and Development Party thus called for a boycott of French products and called for the summons of the French ambassador.
At Morocco, the opposition party Istiqlal (center right) denounced “The repeated persistence in publishing the drawings insulting against the Prophet” as well as “Stigmatizing statements of Islam which affect the common religious sentiment of Muslims around the world, primarily those of France”. The foreign ministry said the kingdom condemned “Vigorously continue the publication of cartoons outrageous against Islam and the Prophet”, denouncing “Acts that reflect the immaturity of their perpetrators” and affirming “May the freedom of some end where the freedom and beliefs of others begin”.
In Tunisia, some netizens criticized the means used to defend the Prophet, mocked the boycott attempts, and defended freedom of expression.
In Libya, Internet users called for demonstrations on Sunday in the great Martyrs Square, in downtown Tripoli. But less than 70 people responded. Portraits of Mr Macron and French flags were trampled on and set on fire. Similar scenes had been observed the day before in the band Gaza, and some 200 people gathered in front of the residence of the French Ambassador in Israel.
A symbolic call for a boycott also took place at Bab Al-Hawa, a border crossing point in the north-west of the Syria, in the hands of the rebels. Demonstrations were also organized in various regions beyond the control of Damascus, detailed to Agence France-Presse Rami Abdel Rahmane, director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, specifying that portraits of Mr. Macron had been burned.
In Jordan, the Minister of Islamic Affairs said that” to offend “ the prophets did “Not personal freedom but a crime that encourages violence”. At Lebanon, the demonstration planned in front of the French embassy on Sunday did not – like the day before – attract anyone except dozens of soldiers and riot control forces.
At Kuwait, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sheikh Ahmed Nasser Al-Mohammed Al-Sabah, ” meet “ the French Ambassador Anne-Claire Legendre. “They mentioned the heinous crime of which a French teacher was the victim”, according to a Kuwaiti press release, specifying that the minister had underlined “The importance of ending attacks on monotheistic religions and prophets in certain official speeches (…) likely to exacerbate hatred “.
In Iraq, Rabaa Allah, the latest of the pro-Iran armed factions, said he was ready “To replicate”, without further details, after what she called“Insult to a billion and a half people”.
At Pakistan, finally, Prime Minister Imran Khan accused Mr. Macron of“Attacking Islam”. he “Could have played appeasement (…) rather than creating additional polarization and marginalization which inevitably leads to radicalization ”, he tweeted.
Renewed tensions between Paris and Ankara
The context is accompanied by a new tension in relations between Paris and Ankara. The Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, had already denounced as a provocation two weeks ago the statements of Mr. Macron on the “Islamist separatism” and the need to “Structuring Islam” in France, while the French executive presented its future bill on this subject.
In a televised speech on Saturday, Erdogan publicly questioned the ” Mental Health “ of the French head of state. Words strongly condemned by Paris, who let it be known that the French ambassador to Turkey was recalled ” for consultation “, as the saying goes.
Fahrettin Altun, director of communications for the Turkish presidency said on Sunday that the “Offensive cartoons” of the Prophet Muhammad were used to intimidate Muslims in Europe under the pretext of free speech.