Perikatan govt lambasts France’s Macron over remarks on Islam

Jerry Choong
·2-min read
A man steps on a picture of French President Emmanuel Macron during a protest against cartoon publications of Prophet Muhammad in France and Macron's comments, in Karachi, Pakistan October 27, 2020. — Reuters pic
A man steps on a picture of French President Emmanuel Macron during a protest against cartoon publications of Prophet Muhammad in France and Macron's comments, in Karachi, Pakistan October 27, 2020. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 28 — Perikatan Nasional (PN) has condemned France’s President Emmanuel Macron for choosing “the path of religious chauvinism and intolerance”, in response to his remarks earlier this month.

Information chief Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali said Macron’s remarks attacking Islam, the Prophet Muhammad and the Muslim ummah at large are absolutely unacceptable and should be denounced by all right-thinking people regardless of nationality or religion.

“Macron’s outburst in defaming the Prophet as well as generalising Muslims as terrorists and separatists is undoubtedly hate speech calculated to provoke Muslims across the world while sowing hatred and animosity against Muslims,” he said in a statement.

Azmin said that Macron, in expressing his myopic and patronising views on how Muslims ought to practise their religion and castigating Islam as a religion “which needs Enlightenment”, has only laid bare his Islamophobia as well as intellectual incapacity to grasp the real issues that impact the world.

“Instead of demonstrating understanding towards other religions and inclusiveness in leadership, it is utterly regrettable that a head of state of a G7 member country has chosen to behave in such a manner,” he said.

On October 2, Macron announced a law aimed at religious separatism, which he said is meant to free Islam in France from ‘foreign influences’.

Its measures are also aimed at defending the French republic, its values and to uphold the ideals of equality and emancipation. Among its reported approaches include giving local officials extralegal powers to combat extremism, investing in education on Islamic culture and civilisation, and dealing with issues related to housing and poverty.

Since then, Macron’s remarks have drawn the ire of Muslims worldwide, most notably Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan who said his French counterpart needed a mental health check.

Calls are also growing for Muslims outside of France to boycott French products, as well as security warnings for French citizens in Muslim countries.

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