French President Emmanuel Macron mentioned he can perceive Muslims being shocked by cartoons of the prophet Muhammad however that he can by no means settle for them getting used to justify violence.
The French chief spoke to Al Jazeera in an interview launched on Saturday through which he sought to make clear his place on Islam and defuse tensions that flared following the killing of a instructor who confirmed caricatures of Muhammad to his pupils.
“I perceive and respect that we could be shocked by these caricatures. I’ll by no means settle for that we will justify bodily violence for these caricatures and I’ll at all times defend in my nation the liberty to say, to put in writing, to assume, to attract,” Macron mentioned.
He emphasised that the French press is free to publish what it needs and that what’s launched is subsequently not the official place of the federal government.
“However does the president assume this proper ought to be eliminated? The reply isn’t any as a result of that is the precise of the French folks.”
He additionally accused a few of spreading “lies and distortions” about what he has mentioned in latest days.
Final month, Macron mentioned in a speech that “Islam is in disaster” and unveiled new measures to fight radical Islamism on French soil.
He doubled down on his feedback following the beheading of Samuel Paty on October 16. The history-geography instructor was killed after he confirmed caricatures of the prophet Muhammad throughout a lesson on freedom of expression.
Macron’s feedback have sparked anti-French protests in Muslim-majority international locations and a boycott of French merchandise.
Three assaults have since unfolded together with a lethal knife assault on a Good church.
“I’ve seen too many individuals in the previous few days saying unacceptable issues about France, corroborating all of the lies mentioned about us, about what I had mentioned and being tacit accomplices to the worst,” he informed Al Jazeera.
France, he mentioned, will not be combating Islam however radical Islamism.
“As we speak, within the title of Islam and by distorting this faith, violent extremists are doing the worst,” he added.
He famous that the overwhelming majority of the victims of terrorism during the last 4 many years had been Muslims and argued that measures unveiled lately aimed to additionally defend French residents of Muslim religion.
Measures to curb radical Islamism embody the tip of a system permitting Imams to coach overseas, extra transparency in spiritual funding and new necessities for homeschooling.
“All over the place these final weeks within the Muslim world, now we have tried to combination the 2, by distorting my remarks, by telling lies, by saying the President of the French Republic and thus France, they’ve an issue with Islam. No, now we have no drawback with Islam. None,” he mentioned.