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Myopic And Insensitive: French President Macron Has Angered Muslims Worldwide

Once again France is finding itself in the centre of the maelstrom ignited by the highly bigoted speech of the French President Emanuel Macron in which he ostensibly targeted the Muslims. In fact, it has become a norm in France these days that the so-called ‘secular’ French are seen indulging in invectives against Islamic faith. When the president of a state shows no tolerance for a religion followed by the five million, comprising 10% of the entire population, how can one expect the minority to accept this situation.

Even the beheading of a history teacher by a young Muslim student this month while the former was lecturing on freedom of expression by showing blasphemous content related to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), didn’t urge the French authorities to halt such reprehensible activities. Since then, the mulish French president has adopted a more aggressive rhetoric vis-a-vis Islam . He added, “Islam is a religion that is in crises all over the world today, we are not just seeing this in our country”. He seems to be interested in defending the ‘right’ of his country to commit blasphemy and simultaneously wants his citizenry to respect the norms and ethics of the republic. Meanwhile, he himself does not respect the sentiments, traditions and conventions of minority’s religion.

This time, the obstinate President went a step further when his government decided to project the blasphemous cartoons on the buildings of French Government as part of a so-called tribute to the slain history teacher.

As expected, this incident was sure to backfire, so it did. As the hashtags #bycottfranceproducts or #bycottfrance went viral on social media within a couple of hours, several food companies of Arab states especially Kuwait & Qatar, made a proclamation of proscribing the French products in their respective states. All Muslim countries are now being asked to follow suit by their natives.

Decrying the latest anti-Islamic speech by Emanuel Macron, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan minced no words when he said that Macron needed mental check-up. “What’s Macron’s problem with Muslims?” he added.

The Prime minster of Pakistan Imran Khan also condemned this odious incident by posting a short clip from his United Nations General Assembly’s address and tweeting a long thread. He declared that “President Macron could have put healing touch and denied space to extremists rather than creating polarisation and marginalization that inevitably leads to radicalization.” While summing up he said that “by attacking Islam, clearly without having any understanding of it, President Macron has attacked and hurt the sentiments of millions of Muslims in Europe and across the world.”

With great power comes great responsibility. While holding the highest position in the country, Macron should have accounted for Muslim sentiments. His publicly stated racist remarks and endorsing of islamophobic rhetoric might have prompted the duo French women who, a couple of days ago, stabbed two veiled Muslim women in Paris. The French President must bear in mind that non-Muslims are used to relishing the movies or other artistic work based on their prophets, but that’s not the case with Muslims. It is part of every Muslim’s faith to revere all Prophets mentioned in the holy scriptures, such as Jesus Christ, Moses, Joseph and others. So they cannot think of ridiculing any of them. Nevertheless, Muslims can tolerate anything in the world, but attacks on Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) will always be unbearable for them. World leaders must understand this.

Already in different parts of the world, hundreds of thousands among the 1.8 billion Muslim population is out on roadsto record their protests against Macron’s remarks. For the time being, every Muslim wants Macron to apologise for what he said. The sooner Macron does so, the better.

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