World

France asks Pakistan to ‘rectify’ Macron’s Nazi comment

The criticism from Paris comes after a Pakistani official said President Macron treated Muslims like the Nazis treated Jews.

France calls on Pakistan to withdraw comments by one of its ministers that President Emmanuel Macron treated Muslims like the Nazis treated Jews during World War II.

The comments posted on Twitter by Pakistani Federal Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari on Saturday are part of a clash between Pakistan and France over the republishing of cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad by French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

The images sparked anger and protests in the Muslim world, particularly in Pakistan.

The Prophet is deeply revered by Muslims and any kind of visual representation of him is prohibited in Islam. The cartoons in question are viewed by Muslims as offensive and Islamophobic because they are seen to link Islam to “terrorism”.

“Macron does to Muslims what the Nazis did to Jews – Muslim children will get ID numbers [other children won’t] just as Jews were required to wear the yellow star on their clothing to identify themselves, ”Mazari said in a tweet referring to an online article that initially reported that France would implement an identification number system for Muslim children and later posted a correction.

In a follow-up tweet on Sunday, Mazari doubled down on his allegations after the conviction by the French Foreign Ministry on Saturday evening.

‘Blatant lies’

French Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Agnes von der Muhll said Paris had informed the Pakistani embassy of its strong condemnation of the comments.

“These hateful words are blatant lies imbued with an ideology of hatred and violence. Such slander is unworthy of this level of responsibility. We reject them with the utmost firmness, ”she said.

“Pakistan must rectify these comments and return to the path of a dialogue based on respect.”

The Pakistani parliament adopted a resolution at the end of October urging the government to recall its envoy from Paris, accusing Macron of “hatred” against Muslims.

In early October, Macron gave a speech in which he described Islam as a religion “in crisis” on a global level and said he would work against “Islamist separatism” in France.

Two weeks later, a French history teacher, Samuel Paty, was beheaded outside his school by an 18-year-old man of Chechen descent for showing the prophet’s caricatures in a free speech class.

Protests against Macron’s comments on the prophet’s cartoons in Lahore [File: Rahat Dar/EPA-EFE]

Macron paid tribute to Paty, refusing to condemn the right to show the cartoons, swearing: “We will not give up cartoons” and defending France’s strict secularism and its long tradition of satire.

French officials said the beheading was an attack on the core French value of freedom of expression. The attacks have sparked harsher rhetoric from Macron against what he calls “Islamist separatism.”

Meanwhile, thousands of people across the Muslim world have protested against Macron and his government, angered by the French leader’s comments on Islam and renewed official support for the right to show the cartoons.

Some Muslim countries have called for a boycott of French products, and a number of international media – as well as allies of France – have criticized the actions of Macron and his government.




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