Turkey, Pakistan rebuke French weekly for reprinting anti-Islam cartoons

Turkey and Pakistan have separately censured the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo for republishing offensive cartoons of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

In an editorial this week accompanying the blasphemous caricatures, the magazine said they “belong to history, and history cannot be rewritten nor erased.”

The insulting sketches were reprinted on the eve of the trial of suspects in a deadly attack on the paper’s Paris offices in 2015.

French President Emmanuel Macron refused to censure the more and claimed it was not his place to pass judgment about what he called a matter of free speech.

In a statement released on Wednesday, Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy strongly condemned the magazine’s republication of the cartoons, adding that the approach of the French authorities, especially Macron, regarding the incident is also “unacceptable.”

He further stressed that it is not possible to justify the insult and disrespect toward Muslims by saying it is freedom of the press, art or expression.

“At every opportunity, those who define themselves as democrat and liberal are serving the new generation of fascists and racists in France and Europe by using such racist and discriminatory actions that increase anti-Islamism and xenophobia,” Aksoy said.

He also urged politicians and European countries to take a clear stance against such attacks against Islam which are on the rise and hurt Muslim sentiments.

Similarly, Pakistani Foreign Ministry denounced the French weekly’s move as a “deliberate act” meant to offend Muslims’ sentiments.

“Pakistan condemns in the strongest terms the decision by the French magazine, Charlie Hebdo, to re-publish deeply offensive caricatures of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH),” it tweeted.

“Such a deliberate act to offend the sentiments of billions of Muslims cannot be justified as an exercise in press freedom or freedom of expression. Such actions undermine the global aspirations for peaceful co-existence as well as social and inter-faith harmony,” it added.

In a video message on Thursday, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said that the blasphemous caricatures hurt the sentiments of millions of Muslims across the world, adding that Islamabad had conveyed its concerns to the French government.

The republication of the sketches was carried out without any reason and no amount of condemnation was enough, he noted.

“We are seeing a rise in Islamophobia, racism and xenophobia across the world and Pakistan has highlighted this at all forums,” Qureshi warned.

“Pakistan is a democratic country and a democracy believes in freedom of expression. But freedom of expression does not give you the license to harm the sentiments of others,” he added.

Source: Press TV


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