AFGHANISTAN. Herat: In the wake of the beheading of a French teacher for showing a cartoon of The Prophet Muhammad, French President Emmanuel Macron said,” Islam is a religion that is a crisis all over the world.” He further pledged to fight the “Islamist separatism”.
Teacher beheading raises questions of free speech and separation of church and state
Tensions around the world have risen after the French history teacher was beheaded by 18-year-old Muslim for showing the caricatures of The Prophet Muhammad to his students in a class lesson about the limits of free speech. Prior to showing the image, he gave students who may be offended an opportunity to leave the room or look away.
The Taliban published an official response on Sunday condemning the remarks as “irresponsible against Islam.” The statement warned, “It would be better if [Macron] carefully studied Islam instead of making ignorant Islamophobic remarks, to stop making irresponsible comments based on deficient information of hostile actors and to stop assuming a stand that threatens international peace and inflames enmity and animosity among nations.”
The statement continued, “This is the umpteenth time that the supposed caricatures of the Great Prophet of Islam, Muhammad (peace and blessing be upon him), have been displayed in France and numerous evil circles in the country have been promoted a misleading image of Muslims.”
Emmanuel Macron warned against mounting Islamism and the threat to freedom of expression. After the shocking murder of the teacher rocked France and again raised issues of free speech, Macron announced that his government will present a bill in December to strengthen a 1905 law that officially separated church and state which ensured the country’s neutrality on religion.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan condemned Macron’s comments. “President Macron has attacked and hurt the sentiments of millions of Muslims in Europe and across the world,” Imran Khan said. President Macron needs treatment on a mental level,” Erdogan said, adding that Emmanuel Macron had “lost his way”, in his second criticism of the French leader.
#BoycottFrenchProducts is among the recent trends across social media calling Muslim countries to ban French products. The Arab nations of Kuwait, Palestine, Qatar, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia are supporting the protests.