French President Emmanuel Macron has embarked on a crusade to reform Islam and offend Muslims by insisting on display of insulting caricatures of Prophet Mohammad (s), reportedly recently projected on government buildings in France.
While there has been universal condemnation, by Muslims and all, of the killing of the French teacher who showed his pupils drawings of Prophet Muhammad (s), (See AMUST article “The beheading in France: An act of blasphemy in itself” by Aslam Abdullah) Macron has used the tragedy to alienate Muslims and encourage Islamophobia in France.
Again the latest senseless killing of three people in a church in Nice on Thursday 29 October is being universally condemned. So should the Islamophobic stabbing of two hijabi Muslim women near Eiffel Tower in Paris by two French women on Thursday 22 October, a news item poorly reported by Western media.
Describing Islam as a religion “in crisis” worldwide, Macron’s comments of seeking to reform Islam followed by almost two billion people around the world and “not to give up on the cartoons” is a highly provocative move against Muslims, within France and globally.
Pakistan’s Imran Khan said that Macron’s rhetoric alienates his country’s six million Muslims and spreads a culture of hatred that encourages Islamophobia.
“This is a time when President Macron could have put healing touch & denied space to extremists rather than creating further polarisation & marginalisation that inevitably leads to radicalisation,” President Khan said.
On Friday 23 October, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) condemned France’s continued attack against Muslims.
The OIC said it was surprised that offensive rhetoric was being used by top officials, and warned that this moment, for the sake of political party gains, could fuel hatred.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the French president needed treatment and “mental checks” over his attitude towards Muslims and Islam.
“When truth is spoken to their faces, Europe’s loser racists show up and try to exploit Islamophobia and xenophobia. Time has come to stop Europe’s spoiled politicians with fascist mindset,” Mevlut Cavusoglu, Turkish Foreign Minister said.
Muslim leaders and social media activists have called for the boycott of French products with Hashtags such as the #BoycottFrenchProducts.
A number companies have pledged not to market French goods and many businesses in Muslim countries have withdrawn French products from their shelves.
It looks like with his recalcitrant attitude towards the cartoons, Macron is going to make a cartoon of himself encouraging Islamophobia on a global scale.