French President has chosen to ‘deliberately provoke Muslims’: Pakistan PM

Islamabad [Pakistan], October 25 : Giving signs of a strained relationship between Pakistan and France, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday slammed President Emmanuel Macron and said that he has “chosen to deliberately provoke Muslims”.

Taking to Twitter, Khan said, “Hallmark of a leader is he unites human beings, as Mandela did, rather than dividing them. This is a time when Pres Macron could have put healing touch and denied space to extremists rather than creating further polarisation and marginalisation that inevitably leads to radicalisation.”

“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.”

“The last thing the world wants or needs is further polarisation. Public statements based on ignorance will create more hate, Islamophobia and space for extremists,” he said in a following tweet.

Earlier this month, Samuel Paty, a school teacher, was beheaded by an 18-year-old teenager on the outskirts of Paris after he showed cartoons depicting the Prophet during a lesson.

Paty was posthumously granted France’s highest award, the Legion d’Honneur, and commemorated in the national ceremony at the Sorbonne University in Paris.

Following the incident, the French government ordered the dissolution of the Sheikh Yassin Islamist association, whose founder, Abdelhakim Sefrioui, is currently in custody as a suspect in the case of the brutal killing of a history teacher in Paris, French government spokesman Gabriel Attal said on Wednesday.

An inquiry is still underway, with Sefrioui and six other suspects being probed on various related charges.

Shutting down groups spreading ideas linked to radical Islam is part of an urgent effort declared by Macron to fight the spread of religious radicalism in France.

The government also ordered a mosque in the Paris suburb of Pantin to close for six months for having shared on Facebook a video calling for action against Paty. The mosque deleted the video and expressed regret.(ANI)

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