MUI urges Marsudi to summon French ambassador over Macron’s statements

Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) has appealed to Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi to summon French Ambassador to Indonesia and Timor Leste Olivier Chambard over President Emmanuel Macron's moves to spur Islamophobic behavior in the country.

"Macron's Islamophobic statements have triggered so many acts of violence in the world," MUI Deputy General Chairman KH Muhyiddin Junaidi stated here on Monday in connection with Macron's support for displaying and reprinting the cartoons mocking Prophet Muhammad.

Junaidi opined that President Macron's statements that project Islam and Muslims worldwide in a negative light by accusing Islam of being a religion in crisis have also incited Islamophobic sentiments in France.

Several Muslim leaders, including Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Pakistani President Imran Khan, have expressed sharp criticism to the controversial statements of this French president on Islam and Muslims, he pointed out.

As a knee-jerk response to Macron's Islamophobic behavior, several Muslim-populated nations in the Middle East have also launched campaigns to boycott French products, he stated, adding that the Muslim population in France had, in fact, increased steadily and could not be ignored.

"Some eight million Muslims in France play an important role in the country's development. Muslim soccer players in the French national soccer team, for instance, have significantly contributed to the French nation and state," he remarked.

The MUI had earlier denounced President Macron's moves to fuel anti-Islamic sentiment in France, affirming that he bred Islamophobia among his people by indirectly supporting the ongoing blasphemy against Prophet Muhammad.

Junaidi noted that France was a nation recorded in world history as one of the Western colonizers, with a racist and cruel approach, against the people of its colonies, especially Muslim-populated nations in the African continent.

"Hence, there is no doubt if Macron's Islamophobic behavior draws fierce reactions from the Islamic World, and he is then compelled to withdraw his Islamophobic statements," he remarked.

According to Junaidi, Macron should edify himself on religious tolerance, especially from Islam. Unlimited freedom that tends to oppose norms will only cause havoc and create chaos, he added.

On Oct 16, Samuel Paty was beheaded by 18-year-old Abdullakh Anzorov after this history and geography teacher showed the cartoons of Prophet Muhammad during a class on Oct 6.

The French police later shot dead the young man, who felt offended by Paty's blasphemy against the prophet, a figure well-respected by Muslims globally.

“France will not give up our cartoons," BBC quoted President Macron as saying in response to his death. Légion d'Honneur, France's highest honor, was also bestowed upon Paty.

In the aftermath of this murder, cartoons depicting Prophet Muhammad, made by Charlie Hebdo, were projected onto public buildings.

Prior to this case, this French satirical weekly magazine has frequently published cartoons that have triggered public ire in several Muslim-populated countries.

After publishing cartoons mocking Prophet Muhammad by contending that their actions were justified in accordance with the freedom of speech and expression, two people attacked Charlie Hebdo's office on Jan 7, 2015, killing 12 people and injuring 11 others.

Source: ANTARA News

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