French president hurt sentiments of millions of Muslims: PM Imran Khan


ISLAMABAD : Prime Minister Imran Khan has condemned the publication of blasphemous cartoons to target Islam and Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) in France and said that President Emmanuel Macron attacked and hurt sentiments of millions of Muslims in Europe and across the world.

PM Imran Khan said in a series of Twitter messages that the last thing the world wants or needs is further polarisation and public statements based on ignorance will create more hate, Islamophobia and space for extremists.

The French president Emmanuel Macron has attacked and hurt the sentiments of millions of Muslims in Europe and across the world by attacking Islam clearly without having any understanding of it.

“It is unfortunate that he has chosen to encourage Islamophobia by attacking Islam rather than the terrorists who carry out violence, be it Muslims, White Supremacists or Nazi ideologists. Sadly, President Macron has chosen to deliberately provoke Muslims, incl his own citizens, through encouraging the display of blasphemous cartoons targeting Islam and Prophet Muhammad PBUH.”

He added, “Hallmark of a leader is he unites human beings, as Mandela did, rather than dividing them. This is a time when Pres Macron could have put healing touch & denied space to extremists rather than creating further polarisation & marginalisation that inevitably leads to radicalisation.”

French magazine Charlie Hebdo had reprinted blasphemous cartoons in September which unleashed a wave of anger in the Muslim world. However, French President Emmanuel Macron had rejected to condemn the blasphemous caricatures by calling it freedom of expression in his country.

Pakistan’s government strongly condemned the reprinting of the cartoons and Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said in a video message that these caricatures have hurt the sentiments of millions of Muslims across the world.

“Pakistan has conveyed its concerns to the French government on the despicable act,” said Qureshi and added that those behind the publication of blasphemous caricatures must be taken to task.

Shah Mehmood Qureshi had said that Prime Minister Imran Khan last year had raised the issue of blasphemous caricatures in the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) session. FM Qureshi expressed the confidence that the world will take immediate steps to put a stop to such acts and tendencies.

He had said that Pakistan is a democratic country and believes in freedom of expression, but freedom of expression does not give license to anybody to hurt the sentiments of others.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had slammed France and Europe on Saturday and warned that Europe is preparing its own end amid rising Islamophobia across the continent. He had asserted that European fascism had entered a new phase with attacks on the rights of Muslims.