Pakistani Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari deleted a tweet in which she said French President Emmanuel Macron’s treatment of Muslims was similar to how Nazis treated Jews during World War Two.
“Macron is doing to Muslims what the Nazis did to the Jews. Muslim children will get ID numbers (other children won’t) just as Jews were forced to wear the yellow star on their clothing for identification,” Mazari, a former journalist, wrote on Twitter. The tweet was, however, deleted after the French envoy to Pakistan contacted her, requesting her to delete the tweet.
Mazari had shared an article that claimed, under a new bill in France, Muslim children would be given identification numbers to ensure they are attending school, to prevent radicalisation of young people. French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin defended the move and said, “We must save these children from the clutches of the Islamists.”
In reply to Mazari’s tweet, the French Foreign Ministry said, “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 greatest firmness.”
In September, Macron said he will not condemn the cartoons of Prophet Mohammed. “It is never the place of a president of the republic to pass judgment on the editorial choice of a journalist or newsroom, never. Because we have freedom of the press,” he said. He maintained the stance even after a Parisian teacher, Samuel Paty, was killed in October after he showed caricatures of Prophet Mohammed to schoolchildren.
Any imagery of the Prophet Mohammed is considered blasphemous in Islam.
Turkey, Pakistan and Bangladesh have shown anger over Macron failing to condemn the caricatures. Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan even went to the extent of saying his nation would ban French goods.
Protests have taken place in Pakistan and Bangladesh, expressing anger against Macron. Bangladeshi protesters had even burnt an effigy of Macron. Pakistan’s parliament in October passed a resolution urging the government to recall its envoy from Paris, accusing Macron of “hate-mongering” against Muslims.
French officials have said the beheading of Paty was an assault on the core French value of freedom of expression, AFP had then reported. Macron has called for a tougher stance against “Islamic separatism”.