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France’s stance on Muslims leads to hate mongering: Iran

The Iranian Foreign Ministry has lambasted the stance adopted by French authorities on insulting Muslims and the noble religion of Islam in the European country, saying such policies would fail to counter extremism and instead breed hatred.

The Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh denounced on Saturday the unjustifiable position of the French authorities on insulting Islam’s Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and his followers, saying the move was not a tactful response to radicalism and violence, and would lead to hate-mongering more than ever before.

French President Emmanuel Macron has in recent weeks attacked Islam and the Muslim community, accusing Muslims of “separatism,” and claiming that “Islam is a religion in crisis all over the world.”

Macron has also approved the publication of blasphemous cartoons of Prophet Muhammad and stressed that his country would not give up the insulting cartoons despite harsh criticisms from Muslims.

Moreover, French teacher Samuel Paty raised controversy last week and provoked anger over showing defamatory cartoons of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad to his students. Paty was decapitated by an 18-year-old assailant, identified as Chechen Abdullakh Anzorov, who was shot dead by police soon after the killing.

“Undoubtedly, the unacceptable and violent actions taken by a few extremists originated from a radical and deviant ideology in the Muslim world, and the ideology which is also owned by politicians close to the West and the United States can in no way justify insult and disrespect for the heavenly character venerated by one billion and eight hundred million Muslims across the world,” Khatibzadeh said.

“Definitely, the unjustifiable position of the French authorities is not an appropriate and prudent response to extremism and violence, which is condemned in its place, and causes more and more hatred,” he added.

The spokesman also lashed out at a number of suspicious and deplorable moves in insulting the Qur’an by a few anti-Muslim extremists in the European countries.

Announcing support for the position of Muslim countries in condemning such actions, Khatibzadeh called the insult to Islamic values ​​and beliefs of Muslims unacceptable.

Meanwhile, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has censured attempts by French politicians to link Muslims and Islam with terrorism, amid growing anti-Islam sentiment due to hostile policies adopted by the European state.

The French interior ministry said a total of 73 mosques, private schools, and workplaces had been shut down since January “in the fight against radicalization.”

Last week, French police stormed a mosque in a densely-populated suburb in the northeast of Paris, as part of a crackdown on Muslims in the wake of the French teacher’s beheading.

The interior ministry said the mosque in Pantin, which has some 1,500 worshipers, would be shut for six months.

Anti-Muslim sentiments have been on the rise across Europe in recent years in the wake of terrorist attacks in the continent. The attacks were carried out by the Daesh sympathizers or the terror group’s members who had returned home following their defeat in Iraq and Syria.

Muslim leaders in Europe and around the world have reiterated their unequivocal condemnation of the terrorist attacks.

Moreover, the rise of far-right ideology and the propagation of anti-immigration policies have exacerbated the status of religious minorities in Europe.          

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