Following Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s intense criticism against France, the French government spokesperson has pledged that the European nation will not give in to the “destabilisation and intimidation attempts.” After a cabinet meeting, Gabriel Attal said on October 28 that France will continue its battle against the Islamic extremism irrespective of the backlash received from Erdogan. The French government spokesperson said that the nation would “never renounce its principles and values” while also highlighting the “strong European unity”.
Earlier, Erdogan lashed out on the government of French counterpart Emmanuel Macron on and said that “after all these years they want to relaunch a crusade against Islam”. Calling the people of the European nation as “dishonourable”, Erdogan reportedly said during the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AK Party) parliamentary group meeting in Ankara that their “values are being targetted”.
After France defended the caricatures of Prophet Muhammad which are considered blasphemous by several Muslim majority states, Erdogan reiterated that Turkey respects all religions. Turkish President reportedly said that he has nothing to speak about the “dishonourable” people who “dare to mock” the Islamic Religious Leader through “so-called caricatures”.
Meanwhile, Iran President Hassan Rouhani also said that insulting Prophet Muhammad would encourage “bloodshed and violence.” Following the beheading of history teacher near Paris and French President Emmanuel Macron pledging to protect the freedom of speech, there has been an uproar in several states with demonstrations including the burning of the French flag. The roots of this fresh wave of unrest lie in a “terrorist” attack on October 16 involving beheading of a history teacher near Paris who showed Islam’s religious leader’s cartoons to his pupils.
Prophet Muhammad caricatures and unrest
The cartoons appearing to depict Islam’s religious leader, Prophet Muhammad were first published years ago by French weekly satirical Charlie Hebdo. This was followed by one of the most horrific attacks in Paris when magazine’s editorial offices were attacked by gunmen in 2015 and killed 12. Moreover, since the beheading of Paty earlier this October, the cartoons have been displayed in France to showcase solidarity but has left some Muslims reportedly angered.
While people in many countries have flooded the streets denouncing France and its President Emmanuel Macron, he has reiterated his stance as the protector of freedom of speech and humour. Most recently on October 26, after meeting with the Muslim community representatives in France, Macron had pledged to tackle “Islamist separatism” and added that it was threatening to take over some Muslim communities in the European nation.