Religious minorities’ representatives slam Macron’s blasphemous remarks

October 28, 2020 - 18:2

TEHRAN – Representatives of Iran’s religious minorities in the parliament have condemned the recent Islamophobic remarks by French President Emmanuel Macron and his support for blasphemy against Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

“The most important factor in shaping and giving meaning to identities in today's world is religion,” the religious minorities’ representatives said in a statement read out in the parliament on Wednesday, IRNA reported.

They emphasized the importance of mutual respect for co-existence in different societies, saying Macron propagates cultural violence in the name of freedom of expression.

“If extremism is condemned, insult which creates violence and violates rights is more condemned,” they said.

The statements came after Macron pledged to fight “Islamist separatism”, which he said was threatening to take control in some Muslim communities around France.

“If extremism is condemned, insult which creates violence and violates rights is more condemned,” the representatives of religious minorities say.

He supported a French teacher’s displaying of cartoons insulting the Prophet of Islam in his class. The teacher, Samuel Paty, was murdered by an 18-year-old Chechen assailant.

Macron’s comments, along with his backing of satirical outlets publishing caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), have led to a social media campaign calling for the boycott of French products from supermarkets in Arab countries and Turkey.

Hashtags such as the #BoycottFrenchProducts in English and the Arabic #NeverTheProphet trended across countries including Kuwait, Qatar, Palestine, Egypt, Algeria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

Ali Akbar Velayati, a top foreign policy adviser to the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, said extremism and offending the prophet are two sides of the same coin which the international Zionism and the global arrogance have adopted against Islam.

“In extremism the bodies of people are targeted and in insult their souls,” Velayati said, criticizing the French government’s pretext of freedom of expression to foment hatred between people.

The veteran politician also called on all Muslims across the world to be vigilant in the face of such conspiracies against Islam.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has also censured the French president 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.”

France has for long tried to impose its own secular culture on its Muslim population, but this has disastrously backfired.

With this regard, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has said that the West’s imposition of its culture on others is a form of “silent violence”, saying that terrorist groups such as Daesh are the result of such cultural invasion.

“I do not deny the importance and value of cultural interaction,” Ayatollah Khamenei wrote in an open letter to the youth in Western countries after the November 2015 attacks in France. 

“Whenever these interactions are conducted in natural circumstances and with respect for the receiving culture, they result in growth, development and richness. On the contrary, inharmonious interactions have been unsuccessful and harmful impositions,” Ayatollah Khamenei stated.

“Vile groups such as Daesh are the spawn of such ill-fated pairings with imported cultures,” he added.

Ayatollah Khamenei maintained that if the issue of terrorism was simply theological, “we would have had to witness such phenomena before the colonialist era, yet history shows the contrary.”

“Historical records clearly show how colonialist confluence of extremist and rejected thoughts in the heart of a Bedouin tribe, planted the seed of extremism in this region,” he said.

“How then is it possible that such garbage as Daesh comes out of one of the most ethical and humane religious schools which as part of its inner core, includes the notion that taking the life of one human being is equivalent to killing the whole of humanity?” Ayatollah Khamenei noted.


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