Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has urged French President Emmanuel Macron to have ‘mental checks’ after his comments on Islam.
Today the backlash against President Emmanuel Macron’s comments on Islam intensified, with many Muslims demanding boycotts of France.
Speaking after teacher Samuel Paty was beheaded on October 16 for showing caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed to pupils in a lesson on free speech, Macron vowed France would ‘not give up cartoons’ and said Paty ‘was killed because Islamists want our future’.
But Erdogan on Saturday urged Macron to have ‘mental checks’ for treating ‘millions of members from different faith groups this way’ – comments which prompted Paris to recall its envoy for consultations to Turkey’s capital, Ankara.
Demonstrators set fire to pictures depicting Macron with a footprint on his face, and another of Macron escorting a woman with the head of Libya’s eastern strongman Khalifa Haftar, today in Tripoli, Libya
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, speaks at his party meeting in Malatya, Turkey, October 25
The Turkish leader doubled down on those comments today, accusing Macron of being ‘obsessed with Erdogan day and night’.
In a televised speech in the eastern Anatolian city of Malatya Erdogan said: ‘[Macron] is a case and therefore he really needs to have [mental] checks.’
French authorities announced on Thursday that seven people will be prosecuted for ‘conspiracy to commit a terrorist murder’ over the beheading of Mr Paty.
The history teacher was decapitated for showing cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad in a civics class discussion on free speech early this month.
He became the subject of an online hate campaign over his choice of lesson material – the same images which unleashed a bloody assault by Islamist gunmen on the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo five years ago.
Relations between Macron and Erdogan have become increasingly strained over geopolitical issues ranging from a Greek-Turkish maritime dispute to the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
Protesters took to the streets of Istanbul today to voice their displeasure against French President Emmanuel Macron’s recent comments on Islam
Demonstrators stamp on a French national flag during a rally protesting against the comments of French President Emmanuel Macron, at the Martyrs’ Square of Tripoli, Libya, today
The European Union’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell, called the comments Erdogan made on Saturday ‘unacceptable’ and urged Turkey ‘to cease this dangerous spiral of confrontation.’
Anger at Macron spilt over into the streets in several Muslim-majority countries, with further demonstrations expected.
In Deir Al-Balah in the Gaza Strip, Palestinians burnt portraits of Macron, calling his comment ‘an attack and an insult against Islam.’
Maher al-Huli, a leader of Hamas, the Islamist movement that runs the coastal Palestinian enclave said: ‘We condemn the comments of the French President… and whoever offends the Prophet Mohammed, whether through words, actions, gestures or drawings.’
While Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan accused Macron of ‘attacking Islam’.
Men flash the victory gesture as they pose for a picture next to a sign condemning French President Emmanuel Macron for his comments over Prophet Mohammed cartoons in Syria’s rebel-held northwestern city of Idlib, today
A demonstrator sets fire to a picture of Macron, protesting against the comments of Macron over Prophet Mohammed cartoons, at the Martyrs’ Square of Libya’s capital Tripoli, today
People chant slogans as they march with signs and banners during a rally protesting against the comments of Macron over Prophet Mohammed cartoons, in Syria’s rebel-held northwestern city of Idlib, today
He tweeted that the French leader ‘could have put healing touch & denied space to extremists rather than creating further polarisation & marginalisation that inevitably leads to radicalisation.’
In Libya, social media users called for demonstrations on Sunday afternoon – calls echoed by a religious TV channel linked to Mufti Sadek al-Ghariani, the war-torn North African country’s controversial top religious leader.
Ghariani said: ‘If a Muslim leader made the same racist and hostile statements about the West as Macron did about Islam, he would be accused of being extremist, racist and terrorist,’
French authorities announced that seven people will be prosecuted for ‘conspiracy to commit a terrorist murder’ over the beheading of history teacher Samuel Paty (pictured) near Paris October 16
French President Emmanuel Macron watched the coffin of slain teacher Samuel Paty being carried into the courtyard of the Sorbonne university during a national memorial event in Paris
Macron delivered his speech in front of the coffin of slain teacher Samuel Paty during a national memorial event in Paris, France, on Thursday
Several Libyan towns and cities had already seen rallies by demonstrators brandishing placards bearing slogans such as ‘the Prophet is a red line’ and pictures of Macron with his face crossed out in red.
In Tripoli demonstrator Fatima Mahmoud, 56, a housewife, said: ‘As Muslims, it’s our duty to respect all the prophets, so we expect the same from all other religions.
‘Demonising Islam and Muslims isn’t going to keep the social peace in France.’