French President Emmanuel Macron has said his country is fighting “Islamist separatism, never Islam”. He responded to a Financial Times article that he claimed misquoted him. The newspaper’s website has removed the article now.
In a letter to the editor published on Wednesday, Macron said the British paper had accused him of “stigmatising French Muslims for electoral purposes and of fostering a climate of fear and suspicion towards them”.
“I will not allow anybody to claim that France, or its government, is fostering racism against Muslims,” he said.
An opinion article written by a Financial Times correspondent alleged that Macron’s condemnation of “Islamic separatism” risked fostering a “hostile environment” for French Muslims.
The paper’s website later removed the article and replaced it with a notice saying it had “contained factual errors”.
The French president sparked protests across the Muslim world after last month’s murder of teacher Samuel Paty. Party had shown his class a blasphemous sketch of the Holy Prophet (PBUH).
Islam forbids depictions of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). However, Macron said France would never renounce its laws permitting blasphemous caricatures.
Worldwide protest against Macron for provoking Muslims
Protests started occurring worldwide. Many counties boycotted French goods across the world and called Macron ‘devil.’
Macron told the Al-Jazeera network over the weekend that he understood the caricatures could be shocking for some.
But recounting a wave of attacks in France since 2015, Macron warned in his letter this week that there were still “breeding grounds” for extremism in France.
“In certain districts and on the internet, groups linked to radical Islam are teaching hatred of the republic to our children, calling on them to disregard its laws,” he wrote.
“This is what France is fighting against… hatred and death that threaten its children – never against Islam. We oppose deception, fanaticism, violent extremism. Not a religion.”
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan also said that Macron by attacking Islam was hurting the feelings of Muslims and encouraging Islamophobia.
Moreover, he said Macron was intentionally provoking Muslims, including his own citizens, by displaying the insulting cartoons.