“I can understand that people could be shocked by the caricatures, Emm­anuel Macron

French President Emmanuel Macron says he understands the ‘sentiments’ being expressed by the Muslim world over cartoons of Prophet Muhammad.


0
“I can understand that people could be shocked by the caricatures, Emm­anuel Macron 1
11 / 100

President Emm­anuel Macron on Saturday sought to calm flaring tensions with Muslims around the world, telling an Arab TV Channel, “he understood that caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) could be shocking while lashing out at “lies” that the French state was behind them.

France is on edge after the republication in early September of cartoons of the Prophet (PBUH) by the Charlie Hebdo weekly, which was followed by an attack outside its former offices, the beheading of a teacher and an attack on Thursday on a church in Nice that left three dead.

In a new incident, an attacker armed with a sawn-off shotgun on Saturday wounded an Orthodox priest in a shooting in the French city of Lyon before fleeing, said a police source.

The priest attacked in Lyon, who has Greek nationality, was closing his church when the attack happened and is now in a serious condition, said the source, who asked not to be named.

Macron sparked protests in the Muslim world after the murder earlier this month of teacher Samuel Paty by saying France would never renounce its laws permitting blasphemous caricatures.

But in an apparent bid to reach out to Muslims, Macron gave a long interview setting out his vision to Qatar-based TV channel Al Jazeera, seeking to strike a softer tone.

“I can understand that people could be shocked by the caricatures, but I will never accept that violence can be justified,” he said.

“I understand the feelings that this arouses, I respect them. But I want you to understand the role that I have. My role is to calm things down, as I am doing here, but at the same time it is to protect these rights.” He added: “I will always defend in my country the freedom to speak, to write, to think, to draw.”

Macron lashed out at “distortions” from political leaders over cartoons of the Prophet (PBUH), saying too often people were led to believe that they were a creation of the French state.

He slammed “a confusion that has been fed by many media — and sometimes political and religious leaders — which is to say that these caricatures are in a way the project or the creation of the French government or the president”.

He also denounced calls for a boycott of French goods, backed in particular by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and taken up by some retailers in Muslim countries, as “unworthy” and “unacceptable”.

He said the campaign was created by some private groups “who relied on lies… sometimes from other leaders” about the caricatures.

Even before the attack on Paty, Macron had promised a tough new campaign against Islamist radicalism in France, which has claimed the lives of hundreds of people since 2015.

French authorities were on Saturday seeking to ascertain if a young Tunisian suspected of killing three people in a knife rampage inside a Nice church had outside help.

Brahim Issaoui, 21, only arrived in Europe from Tunisia last month and, according to prosecutors, killed a church employee, a Brazilian woman and a French woman in the attack in the Notre-Dame Basilica on Thursday morning. Essaouira was shot by police multiple times and is currently in grave condition in the hospital. Investigators have been unable to question him and his precise motivations remain unclear.

“It is still too early to say if there were others complicit, what his motivations were in coming to France and when this idea took root in him,” said a source close to the inquiry who asked not to be named.


Like it? Share with your friends!

0

What's Your Reaction?

hate hate
0
hate
confused confused
0
confused
fail fail
0
fail
fun fun
0
fun
geeky geeky
0
geeky
love love
0
love
lol lol
0
lol
omg omg
0
omg
win win
0
win
Webmaster One

0 Comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Choose A Format
Personality quiz
Series of questions that intends to reveal something about the personality
Trivia quiz
Series of questions with right and wrong answers that intends to check knowledge
Poll
Voting to make decisions or determine opinions
Story
Formatted Text with Embeds and Visuals
List
The Classic Internet Listicles
Countdown
The Classic Internet Countdowns
Open List
Submit your own item and vote up for the best submission
Ranked List
Upvote or downvote to decide the best list item
Meme
Upload your own images to make custom memes
Video
Youtube, Vimeo or Vine Embeds
Audio
Soundcloud or Mixcloud Embeds
Image
Photo or GIF
Gif
GIF format