French President Emmanuel Macron has said he understands that cartoons of the prophet Mohammed could shock Muslims but it is his duty to protect freedoms and rights.
In an interview with Al-Jazeera Macron said: “I can understand that people could be shocked by the caricatures, but I will never accept that violence can be justified.”
Macron’s statement comes after the killing of three people inside a Nice church by a suspected Islamist radical.
“I consider it our duty to protect our freedoms and our rights,” he added.
‘Islam is in crisis all over the world today’
Macron is under fire over his statement “Islam is in crisis all over the world today” and projection of controversial cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad on government buildings in France as a tribute to history teacher Samuel Paty who was beheaded by a Chechen Muslim.
From India and Pakistan to Bangladesh and Indonesia, Muslims have been protesting against the French President. French Interior Minister Gerald Damarnin said France was engaged in a war against Islamist ideology and more attacks were likely.
Condemning the Islamist terrorist attack in Nice Macron has vowed to take new measures to fight terrorism.
“Tomorrow there will be a Defence Council (meeting), in which new measures will be taken,” announced Macron when visiting Nice where a knife attacker killed three people at Notre-Dame basilica early Thursday morning.
He further said that soldiers will be deployed to protect key sites, including places of worship and schools.
Tens of thousands of Muslims protest over Macron’s remark
Meanwhile, the US, India and other European countries have backed Macron with the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) condemning the statements against the French President calling it “violation of the most basic standards of international discourse.”
Earlier, former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad sparked widespread outrage when he said that Muslims have a right to be angry and kill millions of French people for the massacres of the past.
On Friday, he said that his comments were taken out of context and criticising Twitter and Facebook for removing his posts. Removing his tweet, Twitter said it glorified violence, with France’s digital minister demanding the micro-blogging platform to ban Mahathir.
Source: Times Now