In a message released on Tuesday, the Leader said “the grave and unforgivable sin committed” by the French magazine once again “revealed the hostility and malicious grudge harbored by the political and cultural organizations in the west against Islam and the Muslim community.”
Ayatollah Khamenei also denounced as “unacceptable” French politicians’ refusal to condemn the blasphemous caricatures under the guise of respecting free speech.
“The excuse of ‘freedom of expression’ made by some French politicians in order not to condemn this grave crime is completely unacceptable, wrong and demagogic,” the Leader said.
Charlie Hebdo angered Muslims in France and all over the world last week by reprinting the insulting sketches of Islam’s Prophet on the eve of the trial of suspects in a deadly attack on the magazine’s Paris offices in 2015.
The weekly said the drawings “belong to history, and history cannot be rewritten nor erased.”
French President Emmanuel Macron declined to condemn the sacrilegious move, citing freedom of the press and freedom of expression
Elsewhere in his message, Ayatollah Khamenei said, “It is the deeply anti-Islamic policies of the Zionists and arrogant powers that are behind these hostile moves, which emerge every now and then.”
“This move made at this point in time might also serve another motive: diverting the minds and attention of nations and governments in West Asia away from the evil schemes that the US and the Zionist regime have hatched for the region,” the Leader added.
The Leader further called on Islamic nations to exercise vigilance in the face of US-Israeli plots for the region and stay attentive to the West’s enmities against Muslims.
“While maintaining their vigilance on the issues of this crucial region, Muslim nations – in particular West Asian countries – should never forget the hostilities of Western politicians and leaders against Islam and Muslims.”