Calls for boycott, angry protesters, flaming French flags – Head of State Emmanuel Macron has drawn the ire of parts of the Muslim world. The protests were triggered by his clarifications following the beheading of the teacher Samuel Paty. France will defend freedom of speech and still allow Mohammed cartoons, the head of state has told the world.
Above all, however, one general remark made by Macron was resented by many believers: Islam is “in crisis worldwide.” And Home Secretary Gerald Darmanin said he didn’t believe in having separate halal shelves in supermarkets because a religious community would separate itself from the rest of society.
The anger of Muslims in parts of the world is currently so great that Paris has published new security warnings for several countries. The French should stay away from crowds as much as possible.
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The focus of the dispute is less the violent death of the teacher or the murder of three people in Nice – the attacks are usually condemned as cruel acts by individual extremists – but rather the hostile approach to Islam. Some politicians in the Arab world are adopting this feeling.
President Erdogan acted heavily against his French counterpart Photo: Reuters
There are complaints of “systematic attacks” on the feelings of Muslims, there are insults. For example, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al Sisi warns, “Stop hurting us.” Iranian Foreign Minister Jschwad Sarif even says that Muslims are victims of a “culture of hatred” reinforced by colonial powers.
Western arrogance is also lamented in regard to cartoons of the Prophet. Terror and Islam would be lumped together.
Will the conflict develop an incalculable dynamic? Would Muslims radicalise as much as in 2005, when the Danish newspaper “Jyllands Posten” published satirical images of Mohammed, the country’s embassies were set on fire and violence broke out?
Crime scene in Notre Dame Basilica in Nice – an Islamist killed three people here Photo: Norbert Scanella / imago / PanoramiC
It is difficult to predict at the moment. However, observers don’t expect the situation to calm down anytime soon – the magnitude of the anger against France is considered too great. After Friday prayers, there were many gatherings with thousands of participants – from Ethiopia to Afghanistan to Bangladesh.
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Slogans like “We are all soldiers of the Prophet Mohammed” or “Drive the French dog” were sung in the street. Angry protesters clashed with security forces in Pakistan and Lebanon.
So it is not surprising that French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian urgently warns: “The threat is everywhere.”