Zarif hits back at Macron, says Muslims are victims of the ‘cult of hatred’

October 26, 2020 - 17:30

TEHRAN – Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has censured French President Emanuel Macron for anti-Islam stance, saying Muslims are the primary victims of the “cult of hatred”.

“Muslims are the primary victims of the ‘cult of hatred’—empowered by colonial regimes & exported by their own clients,” Zarif said via Twitter on Monday.

“Insulting 1.9B Muslims—& their sanctities—for the abhorrent crimes of such extremists is an opportunistic abuse of freedom of speech,” he said, adding, “It only fuels extremism.”

On Wednesday, Macron supported a French teacher’s displaying of cartoons insulting the Prophet of Islam in his class. 

Zarif says insulting 1.9 billion Muslims and their sanctities for abhorrent crimes of extremists is an “opportunistic abuse of freedom of speech”. 

“France will never renounce caricatures,” Macron said, 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 drew a wave of condemnation throughout the Muslim world.

Iran’s parliament on Monday strongly condemned Macron’s defense of blasphemy against Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) under the guise of “freedom of speech.”

In a statement the lawmakers, shunning acts of sacrilege against Islam, said the French government “once again proved its evil nature,” Press TV reported.

They said “enmity on the part of non-believers towards Islam’s illuminating messages goes back long in history,” adding those seeking to attack divine prophets would usually resort to the “threadbare method of mockery”.

The MPs said rather than advancing “freedom of speech,” supporting such acts of sacrilege amounted to “the biggest instance of oppression against freedom” and profanity against the sanctities of more than one billion Muslims worldwide.

The Iranian legislators, meanwhile, said Macron was actually “extremely alarmed” at the rapid pace of gravitation towards Islam in France.

“His (Macron’s) effrontery and insolence is part of a bigger plan that seeks to slow down the expeditious trend of the French people’s attraction towards Islam,” the statement said.

The statement, however, assured that “Macron and his cohorts would soon come to face the practical result of this policy,” and asserted that the world’s Muslims would stand up to attempts at normalizing insult against Islam and its Prophet.


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