Op-ed: Macron’s myopic views about Islam need to change

When the president of a state shows no tolerance for a religion followed by the five million people of his own country, that makes up 10% of the entire population, how can one expect the minority to bear every vile attack on their holy religion?

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Once again, France finds itself in the center of turmoil ignited by the highly bigoted speech of the French President Emanuel Macron in which he ostensibly targeted Muslims. In fact, it has become a norm in the so call ‘secular’ France these days to indulge in insults against Islam.

When the president of a state shows no tolerance for a religion followed by the five million people of his own country, that makes up 10% of the entire population, how can one expect the minority to bear every vile attack on their holy religion?

Read more: Turkey accuses French President Macron of sowing Islamophobia

Even the beheading of a history teacher by a teenage Muslim student this month while the former was giving a lecture on freedom of expression by showing blasphemous content related to Prophet Muhammad PBUH to his students, did not urge the French authorities to halt such reprehensible activities.

Publicly endorsing his Islamophobic rhetoric might have prompted the stabbing of two veiled Muslim women by two French women who in Paris

Since then, the French president has adopted a more aggressive rhetoric towards Islam. He further made it apparent that he is mentally disturbed when he said “Islam is a religion that is in crises all over the world today, we are not just seeing this in our country”. He seems to be interested in defending the blasphemy and simultaneously wants his citizenry to respect the moral, norms and ethics of the republic whereas, he himself does not respect the sentiments, traditions and conventions of Muslims.

Read more: Macron outlines new law to prevent Islamic ‘separatism’ in France

This time, the President has gone a step further when his government decided to project the blasphemous cartoons on the buildings of the French government as part of a so-called tribute to the history teacher.

Backlash from Muslim countries 

As expected, this incidence was sure to backfire, so it did. And as the hashtags #bycottfranceproducts or #bycottfrance went viral on social media within a couple of hours, several food companies of Arab states especially Kuwait & Qatar made a proclamation of banning French products in their respective states. All Muslim countries are now being asked to follow suit by their natives.

For the time, every Muslim wants to see Macron apologize for what he said. The soon Macron does so, the better.

Condemning the latest anti-Islamic speech by Emanuel Macron, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan minced no words when he said that Macron needed ‘mental checks’. “What’s Macron’s problem with Muslims?” he added.

Read more: Erdogan tells Macron to undergo ‘mental checks’

The Prime Minster of Pakistan, Imran Khan also condemned this odious incident by posting a short clip from his United Nations General Assembly’s address and tweeting a long thread. He grieved that “President Macron could have put healing touch and denied space to extremists rather than creating polarization and marginalization that inevitably leads to radicalization”. While summing up he said that “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”.

While holding the highest position in a country, Macron’s approach should have been responsible. Publicly endorsing his Islamophobic rhetoric might have prompted the stabbing of two veiled Muslim women by two French women who in Paris.

Read more: ‘It causes Muslims pain’: PM Imran explains blasphemy issue to French President Macron

What Macron needs to understand

The French President must bear in mind that non-Muslims are used to relishing movies or other artistic work based on their prophets, but that’s not the case with Muslims. It is a part of every Muslim’s faith to deeply respect all the Prophets mentioned in the holy scriptures like Jesus Christ, Moses, Joseph and all the others. So, they cannot think of ridiculing any of them too. Nevertheless, Muslims can tolerate anything in the world, but insolence in the name of our holy Prophet Muhammad PBUH will always be unbearable for them. World leaders must understand this.

Read more: Protests against France spread as Erdogan condemns Macron’s attack on Islam

Already in different parts of the world, a major chunk of the 1.8 billion Muslim population is now out on the roads to protest Macron’s remarks. For the time, every Muslim wants to see Macron apologize for what he said. The sooner Macron does so, the better.

The author is a student doing his Master’s degree in English literature from a public university in Lahore. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.

 


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