France fighting Islamist extremism, not Islam: Macron

Published November 5, 2020
French President Emmanuel Macron attends a joint news conference with Slovakia's Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini at the Bratislava Castle in Bratislava Slovakia, Oct. 26, 2018. – AP/File
French President Emmanuel Macron attends a joint news conference with Slovakia's Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini at the Bratislava Castle in Bratislava Slovakia, Oct. 26, 2018. – AP/File

French President Emmanuel Macron has said his country is fighting “Islamist separatism, never Islam”, responding to a Financial Times article that he claimed misquoted him and has since been removed from the newspaper's website.

In a letter to the editor published on Wednesday, Macron said the British paper had accused him of “stigmatising French Muslims for electoral purposes and of fostering a climate of fear and suspicion towards them”.

Read: Imran accuses Macron of maligning Islam

“I will not allow anybody to claim that France, or its government, is fostering racism against Muslims,” he said.

An opinion article written by a Financial Times correspondent published on Tuesday alleged that Macron's condemnation of “Islamic separatism” risked fostering a “hostile environment” for French Muslims.

The article was later removed from the paper's website, replaced with a notice saying it had “contained factual errors”.

The French president sparked protests across the Muslim world after last month's murder of teacher Samuel Paty — who had shown his class a blasphemous sketch of of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) — by saying France would never renounce its laws permitting blasphemous caricatures. Islam forbids depictions of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

Following the protests and boycotts of French goods across the world, Macron told the Al-Jazeera network over the weekend that he understood the caricatures could be shocking for some.

But recounting a wave of Islamist attacks in France since 2015, Macron warned in his letter this week that there were still “breeding grounds” for extremism in France.

“In certain districts and on the internet, groups linked to radical Islam are teaching hatred of the republic to our children, calling on them to disregard its laws,” he wrote.

“This is what France is fighting against... hatred and death that threaten its children – never against Islam. We oppose deception, fanaticism, violent extremism. Not a religion. “

Opinion

Editorial

Crisis conference
Updated 04 Feb, 2023

Crisis conference

PTI's refusal to engage with the govt in such testing times will only be seen as sign of ideological bankruptcy.
Revenge politics
04 Feb, 2023

Revenge politics

A SENSE of déjà-vu prevails as cases pile up against PTI politicians, many of whom, along with their allies and...
Inappropriate remarks
04 Feb, 2023

Inappropriate remarks

OFFICIALS of the state, especially when representing the country at international forums, need to choose their words...
Delay in the offing?
Updated 03 Feb, 2023

Delay in the offing?

Govt must realise that political stability in the country cannot be achieved by extra-constitutional actions.
Divisions in PML-N
03 Feb, 2023

Divisions in PML-N

DISCORD and drama in PML-N ranks escalated this week when Shahid Khaqan Abbasi revealed he no longer holds a party...
Wikipedia ‘downgrade’
03 Feb, 2023

Wikipedia ‘downgrade’

ATTEMPTS to police the internet by states, often by giving opaque justifications for the action, are never a good...