Turkey and Pakistan should not meddle in France’s domestic affairs, Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said on Tuesday, after Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister Imran Khan denounced French President Emmanuel Macron’s “anti-Islam” agenda and called for a boycott of French goods.
The comments from Erdogan and Imran were the latest expression of anger in the Muslim world over blasphemous images being displayed in France of the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him).
Erdogan, in his statement, also questioned Macron’s mental health, prompting Paris to recall its ambassador in Ankara.
Joining Erdogan, Imran also denounced Macron’s remarks on the publication of caricatures, calling them “encouragement of Islamophobia”.
“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,” the premier had said.
“It should shock each one of us that foreign powers are meddling with what is going on in France,” Darmanin told France Inter radio, adding he was referring to Turkey and Pakistan, where parliament passed a resolution urging the government to recall its ambassador from Paris.
The National Assembly (NA) on Monday unanimously passed a resolution condemning the caricatures and the “resurgence of Islamophobic acts” in some countries.
“Turkey should not meddle with France’s domestic affairs,” Darmanin added.
The row has its roots in a knife attack outside a French school on October 16 in which a man of Chechen origin beheaded Samuel Paty, a teacher who had shown pupils blasphemous caricatures of Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) in a civics lesson on freedom of speech.
Macron, who met representatives of France’s Muslim community on Monday, has pledged to fight “Islamist separatism”, saying it was threatening to “take over” some Muslim communities in France.