French president, Emmanuel Macron has come under intense criticism from Muslims on social media for defending the decision by Charlie Hebdo magazine to republish offensive caricatures of Prophet Muhammad (SAW).
Macron, while speaking during his visit to Lebanon, said the magazine, known for mocking Islam, has the freedom of expression to reprint the controversial caricatures that depicted Prophet Muhammad in slovenly manner.
“It’s never the place of a President of the Republic to pass judgment on the editorial choice of a journalist or newsroom, never. Because we have freedom of the press,” Macron said.
Muslims on social media described President Macron’s remarks as double standard, saying that his government has repeatedly condemned holocaust denial and anti-semitism against Jews but now, defending Charlie Hebdo’s attack on Prophet Muhammad, the leader of 1.8 billion Muslims worldwide.
“Would this man (Macron) open his tongue and talk about freedom when someone denies the holocaust? Would the freedom of speech be applied to holocaust the same way it’s applied in the case of Charlie Hebdo? These double standards and these standards make the world a more difficult place to live in. #Doublestandard,” Shabi Shahid.
Also speaking, a user, Zohra Sikandar , said, “What freedom is this man talking about? If the magazine had talked – and will not be able – to question the Jewish Holocaust, the world would have risen. The freedom of expression would have been thrown overboard. But when they talk about Muslims, it is freedom of expression. Praise be to God. The true face of your freedom, your justice, your democracy and your human rights are revealed.”
Abdul Razaq Kilani reacted to the news, saying, attack on Prophet Muhammad (SAW) is regarded as “freedom of expression but there is antisemitism punishment and sanctions.”
Findings by Muslims News showed that holocaust denial is considered a crime in France under the Gayssot Act, and for injure raciale, or “racial insult.”
A French high court, in 2016, upheld the law singling out Holocaust denial as a crime, ruling that the purported World War II genocide is of a “different nature” than other crimes against humanity
Also, in order to protect the Jewish population against what the government termed hate crimes, Interior Minister, Christophe Castaner in 2019 announced its decision to open national anti-hate crime office in France.
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▪︎ At the same time, this medium condemns any assault on Islamic symbols, including the Prophet (SAW) by any individual or group all in the name of free speech.
▪︎ This medium therefore calls for fairness and justice in protecting all religious symbols, including Islam, from being ridiculed and mocked by troublemakers.
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