Prime Minister Imran lamented French President Macron’s actions and anti-Muslim rhetoric, saying that Macron had the chance to create healing in his country, but instead created “further polarisation and marginalisation”.
The French president on Wednesday had encouraged his countrymen not to give up on making blasphemous caricatures of the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) after a teacher, Samuel Paty, who showed such sketches, was beheaded.
PM Imran felt that Macron’s comments came from a place of ignorance. He said on Twitter that Macron had a chance to create peace, as South African leader Nelson Mandela had done.
“This is a time when President Macron could have put [a] healing touch and denied space to extremists rather than creating further polarisation and marginalisation that inevitably leads to radicalisation,” he said.
“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,” he added.
Condemning Marcon’s comments, the premier said, “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.”
Meanwhile, the Foreign Office (FO), in a statement issued on Sunday, said that Pakistan condemns in the strongest manner the systematic resurgence of blasphemous acts of republication of caricatures of the Holy Prophet (PBUH). It further stated to be alarmed by the highly disturbing statements by the French politicians, and their attempts at justifying the heinous acts under the garb of freedom of expression.
The FO said that dissemination of racist ideas, defamation and ridiculing of other religions, denigration of religious personalities, hate speech, and incitement to violence are not allowed expressions of this fundamental freedom.
Several cities in the world are protesting Macron after his comments about Muslims.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday said that Macron had “lost his way”, in his second sharp criticism of the French leader in two days over the treatment of Muslims.
On Saturday, Erdogan said that Macron had a problem with Muslims and needed mental checks – a rebuke that caused France to recall its ambassador from Ankara.
“The person in charge of France has lost his way. He goes on about Erdogan all day. Look at yourself first and where you are going. I said in Kayseri yesterday, he is a case and he really must be checked up,” Erdogan said in a televised speech in the eastern province of Malatya.
Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Secretary-General Nayef Falah Mubarak Al-Hajraf called Macron’s words “irresponsible” and said they would “increase the spread of a culture of hatred”.
Jordan’s Foreign Ministry also condemned the continued publication of the blasphemous caricatures of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) “under the pretext of freedom of expression” and any “discriminatory and misleading attempts that seek to link Islam with terrorism”.