Oct 27, 2020 07:59 UTC
  • Libya's GNA demands French president's apology for Islampohobic remarks

Libya's UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) has denounced President Emmanuel Macron’s recent remarks in denunciation of Islam, calling on the French president to apologize to Muslims.    

In a statement on Monday, the GNA foreign ministry in Tripoli “firmly condemned” Macron's comments, saying they "harm relations between France and the Muslim world and feed feelings of hatred for political gain.”

It further called on the French president "to take back his provocative words" by way of "issuing apologies to the world's nearly 1.3 billion Muslims, including those of French nationality."

On Wednesday, Macron supported a French teacher’s displaying of cartoons insulting the Prophet of Islam in his class. “France will never renounce caricatures,” Macron declared, defending the teacher for “promoting freedom.”

The teacher Samuel Paty was murdered by an 18-year-old Chechen assailant. Commenting on the attack, Macron described Islam as a religion “in crisis” worldwide, trying to suggest that the assailant had been motivated to kill the teacher by the faith rather than radicalism.

Macron insisted on his position again on Sunday by tweeting, “We will not give in, ever.”

The comments have raised controversy and provoked a wave of criticism from the Muslim world.

Protests were, meanwhile, reported in the Gaza Strip, Syria, and Libya as well as elsewhere throughout the Muslim world.

Separately on Monday, dozens protested outside the French embassy in the capital, Baghdad, to slam Macron's defense of cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).  

Aqil al-Kadhemi, a cleric at the rally demanded an "apology to all Muslims because the Prophet is a symbol of Islam and Muslims" and visual depictions of him are strictly forbidden in Islam.

"We are demonstrating to denounce and strongly disapprove" of Macron's comments, Kadhemi told AFP at the protest that was heavily guarded by police.

"We're surprised that a country such as France, supposedly the bastion of culture and respect for others, continually disrespects more than 1.5 billion Muslims.”

Anti-Muslim sentiments have been on the rise across Europe in recent years in the wake of terrorist attacks in the continent. The attacks were carried out by the Daesh sympathizers or the terror group’s members who had returned home following their defeat in Iraq and Syria.

Muslim leaders in Europe and around the world have reiterated their unequivocal condemnation of the terrorist attacks.

Moreover, the rise of far-right ideology and the propagation of anti-immigration policies have exacerbated the status of religious minorities in Europe.

MG

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