Tehran summons French envoy over Macron’s Islamophobic remarks

October 27, 2020 - 15:11

TEHRAN – Iran’s Foreign Ministry on Monday summoned France’s charge d’affaires Florent Aydalot over President Macron’s Islamophobic remarks.

The deputy director-general for the European Affairs of the Foreign Ministry denounced the remarks of the French authorities as unacceptable, saying the remarks have hurt the feelings of millions of Muslims in Europe and across the world.

“Any insult and disrespect to the Prophet of Islam (PBUH) and the pure values of Islam are strongly condemned and rejected by every person and in every position,” he said, according to Mehr.

“It is deeply regrettable to incite Islamophobia and the spread of hatred in the name of freedom of expression, which should serve communication, empathy and peaceful coexistence between human societies,” he added.

In response, the French envoy promised to reflect Iran’s objection to the Paris government as soon as possible.

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 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.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif censured Macron’s remarks, 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 earlier 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.”

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

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

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.

MH/PA

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