Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday (Oct 26) denounced French President Emmanuel Macron’s remarks on blasphemous caricatures, calling them “encouragement of Islamophobia”.
He was referring to comments made on Wednesday by President Macron in which he criticised Islamists and vowed not to “give up cartoons” depicting Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
The French president also contended that Samuel Paty, a teacher who was beheaded recently for showing the blasphemous sketches, was “killed because Islamists want our future”.
In a series of tweets, PM Khan said the sign of a leader was that he united people like former South African president Nelson Mandela.
“This is a time when President Macron could have put [a] healing touch and denied space to extremists rather than creating further polarisation and marginalisation that inevitably leads to radicalisation,” he said.
Mr Khan regretted that the French president had instead chosen to encourage Islamophobia by “attacking Islam rather than the terrorists who carry out violence, be it Muslims, White Supremacists or Nazi ideologists”.
“By attacking Islam, clearly without having any understanding of it, President Macron has attacked and hurt the sentiments of millions of Muslims in Europe and across the world,” he said, adding that, “the last thing the world wants or needs is further polarisation”.