The secretary-general of the Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement condemns the French president’s Islamophobic remarks, saying the freedom of expression is based on double standards there.
Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah made the remarks in a televised speech on the occasion of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) birthday on Friday, a day after an assailant waged a knife attack at a church in France’s southern city of Nice, beheading a woman and stabbing to death two other people.
The deadly attack came days after another assailant decapitated Samuel Paty, a history teacher, who had used offensive cartoons of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in a civics class in the capital Paris.
The Paris attack prompted French President Emmanuel Macron to say that he would fight against “Islamist separatism,” which according to him threatens to take control in some Muslim communities across France.
The French leader also defended showing the insulting cartoon in schools across the European country and considered the highly provocative move in line with freedom of expression, a move that has infuriated Muslims across the globe.
“What is the message which the French authorities want to send to the Muslims by insisting on allowing the cartoons which insult Islam?” Nasrallah said, the Hezbollah-linked al-Manar television network reported.
“Instead of addressing the root causes of the problem, the French authorities waged a war of this sort, claiming that it is a matter of freedom of speech,” he added.
The chief of Hezbollah strongly rejected Macron’s use of the “Islamic terror” term, saying religions cannot be blamed for crimes committed by individuals. He also said that no one blamed Christianity for the crime committed by the French military in Algeria or the atrocities of the US military across the globe.
Nasrallah also emphasized that Takfiri terrorist groups in the Middle East have been protected by the Western states.
He further called on the French authorities to reconsider the kind of freedom of speech which infringes on human dignity, saying that freedom of expression is restricted by political considerations, citing the example of French philosopher Roger Geraudy who was persecuted for denying the Holocaust.
Nasrallah also called on the French authorities and public opinion to avoid blaming Islam and all Muslims for the Nice or similar attacks elsewhere, stressing that such acts are illegal and immoral, and that only the culprits must be punished.
Nasrallah also called on the French authorities to bear in mind that Muslims can never accept any humiliation and insult against their Prophet.
“The insults against the Prophet can never be tolerated by Muslims. Even the political regimes cannot cover up such abuses. So, you have to withdraw the excuses and stop this violation,” Nasrallah said, addressing the French authorities.
Separately on Friday, thousands of Muslims staged rallies in different countries across the world, including Bangladesh, Pakistan, Lebanon, Palestine, and India, to condemn France’s anti-Islam stance.
A number of countries have already boycotted French products to show their strong dissent against Macron’s anti-Islam remarks.