Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has denounced France’s stance on insults to Muslims and their sanctities, saying such moves are “opportunistic abuse of freedom of speech” that would only fuel “extremism.”
“Insulting 1.9B Muslims—& their sanctities—for the abhorrent crimes of such extremists is an opportunistic abuse of freedom of speech. It only fuels extremism,” Zarif wrote in a post on his official Twitter account on Monday.
He added that Muslims are the primary victims of the “cult of hatred” that has been empowered by colonial regimes and exported by their own clients.
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 the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) 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.
Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh on Saturday lambasted French authorities’ insult to Muslims and the noble religion of Islam in the European country, saying such policies would fail to counter extremism and instead breed hatred.