France Warns Citizens In Muslim Majority States Amid Uproar Over Macron’s Statement


Amid demonstrations in Muslim majority nations and calls for boycotting French goods, France on October 27 has reportedly warned its citizens living in or travelling to such nations to remain extra cautious and take precautions. As the anger over Prophet Muhammad caricatures has surged with some countries echoing calls from other Muslim states to boycott French goods over its actions and remarks, the French government has moved to alert its citizens in a number of countries.

The roots of this fresh wave of unrest lie in a “terrorist” attack on October 16 involving beheading of a history teacher near Paris who showed Islam’s religious leader’s cartoons to his pupils.


An 18-year-old of Chechen origin decapitated teacher Samuel Paty outside a French school after he showed the caricatures to students reportedly in a civics lesson on freedom of speech. However, the Muslims have repeatedly condemned the cartoons and consider is blasphemous.


In the wake of the uproar, French foreign ministry on Tuesday alerted its citizens and advises them on safety.  As per a French media outlet report, the safety advice was issued for French citizens in Indonesia, Bangladesh, Iraq and Mauritania.

France’s government has advised its people to remain away from any demonstrations over the cartoons and refrain from any public gatherings. Moreover, security has been tightened even inside France.


European nation’s Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin on France-Inter radio called it “battle against an Islamist ideology.” While reacting to calls for boycott, the French foreign ministry has said, “These calls distort the positions France has upheld in favour of freedom of conscience, freedom of expression, freedom of religion and the rejection of any incitement to hatred.”

“The calls for boycotting are therefore completely groundless and must stop immediately, along with any attacks directed against our country, which are exploited by a radical minority,” it added.

Prophet Muhammad caricatures and unrest

The cartoons appearing to depict Islam’s religious leader, Prophet Muhammad were first published years ago by French weekly satirical Charlie Hebdo. This was followed by one of the most horrific attacks in Paris when magazine’s editorial offices were attacked by gunmen in 2015 and killed 12. Moreover, since the beheading of Paty earlier this October, the cartoons have been displayed in France to showcase solidarity but has left some Muslims reportedly angered.

While people in many countries have flooded the streets denouncing France and its President Emmanuel Macron, he has reiterated his stance as the protector of freedom of speech and humour. Most recently on October 26, after meeting with the Muslim community representatives in France, Macron had pledged to tackle “Islamist separatism” and added that it was threatening to take over some Muslim communities in the European nation.


Source: Republic World