PM Imran Khan takes on French President Macron over his anti-Islam policies

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From left: Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Pakistan’s Imran Khan, and Malaysia’s Mahathir Mohamad (DURING A PREVIOUS OCCASION)

PM Imran Khan said that the “public statements based on ignorance will create more hate, Islamophobia”. Photo: File

Prime Minister Imran Khan condemned French President Emmanuel Macron over his anti-Islam policies on Sunday, saying that his “public statements based on ignorance will create more hate, Islamophobia”.

The French president is being criticised and protests have broken out in several cities of the world after Macron accused Muslims of separatism and vowed not to give up cartoons depicting the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

His comments came in response to the beheading of a teacher, Samuel Paty, a 47-year-old teacher, who was attacked on his way home from the junior high school where he taught in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, 40 kilometres northwest of Paris.

The teacher had shown cartoons disrespecting Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), according to media reports.

In a series of tweets, the prime minister, while presenting examples of the iconic leader Nelson Mandela, said that this is a time when President Macron could have put the healing touch and denied space to extremists rather than “creating further polarisation and marginalisation that inevitably leads to radicalisation”.

“It is unfortunate that he has chosen to encourage Islamophobia by attacking Islam rather than the terrorists who carry out violence, be it Muslims, White Supremacists or Nazi ideologists. Sadly, President Macron has chosen to deliberately provoke Muslims, incl his own citizens, through encouraging the display of blasphemous cartoons targeting Islam and our Prophet (PBUH), the premier wrote on Twitter.

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Condemning that by attacking Islam, Macron has hurt the sentiments of Muslims around the world, PM Imran said that the last thing the world wants or needs is further “polarisation”.

“Public statements based on ignorance will create more hate, Islamophobia, and space for extremists,” he added.

France has recently stepped up measures in the country which its Muslim community views as anti-Islam. The French government has said it fears militancy is taking over some Muslim communities in the country.

Erdogan says French president Macron ‘needs mental treatment’ for anti-Muslim attitude
PM Imran Khan is the second prominent Muslim leader to slam Macron for his anti-Muslim statements and policies. Turkish President Erdogan earlier lashed out at the French president, suggesting that he required “mental treatment”.

The statement was not well received by France as the country recalled its ambassador. “Outrage and insult are not a method,” Macron’s office had said.

“What is the problem of this person called Macron with Muslims and Islam? Macron needs treatment on a mental level,” Erdogan said in a speech in the central Turkish city of Kayseri.

“What else can be said to a head of state who does not understand freedom of belief and who behaves in this way to millions of people living in his country who are members of a different faith?” Erdogan added.

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