French President Emmanuel Macron defended citizens’ right to freedom of speech. His remarks came as the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, the target of a massacre by gunmen in 2015, said it was republishing controversial cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed.
Macron said on Tuesday it was not his place to pass judgment on the decision by Charlie Hebdo to publish a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH), saying France has freedom of expression.
Whereas, speaking during a visit to Lebanon, Macron said it was important for French citizens to be respectful of each other. Also, to avoid a ‘dialogue of hate’. Despite that, he would not criticize the magazine for republishing the cartoon.
“Beyond the trial that will begin tomorrow, and I don’t have to express myself on this point as president. We will have a thought for all those who fell,” Macron said.
‘Freedom of speech’
The infamous French magazine is republishing the offensive caricatures, which unleashed a wave of anger in the Muslim world. Apparently, the purpose is to mark the start of the trial of alleged accomplices in the attack against it in 2015.
“It’s never the place of a president of the Republic to pass judgment on the editorial choice of a journalist or newsroom, never. Because we have freedom of the press,” the president added.
The 2015 attack on Charlie Hebdo
On 7 January 2015, two men forced their way into the offices of Charlie Hebdo in Paris. Armed with rifles and other weapons, they killed 12 people and injured 11 others in the French capital. In addition to this, the gunmen identified themselves as belonging to a terrorist group.
It is to be noted that any depiction of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is prohibited in Islam. When the magazine first published his cartoons, it boiled the blood of Muslims all around the world and so are the sentiments this time.
The stance of the French president is highly shocking. As the head of the country, Emmanuel Macron should stop re-publishing of the controversial and offensive sketches.
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