Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday came down hard on French President Emmanuel Macron for his Islamophobic comments and urged the Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to place a similar ban on Islamophobia and hate against Islam content that had been put in place for the holocaust.
According to the PM Office, the premier wrote a letter to the Facebook CEO and drew his attention to the growing Islamophobia that was encouraging hate, extremism and violence across the world and especially through the use of social media platforms including Facebook.
“Given the rampant abuse and vilification of Muslims on social media platforms, I would ask you to place a similar ban on Islamophobia and hate against Islam for Facebook that you have put in place for the Holocaust,” the premier said.
Hallmark of a leader is he unites human beings, as Mandela did, rather than dividing them. This is a time when Pres Macron could have put healing touch & denied space to extremists rather than creating further polarisation & marginalisation that inevitably leads to radicalisation— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) October 25, 2020
The prime minister stressed that the message of hate must be banned in total.
“One cannot send a message that while hate messages against some are unacceptable, these are acceptable against others.”
He maintained that the international community should not wait for the persecution of Muslims as was being carried out in India and Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir before a restriction on Islamophobia was placed.
It is unfortunate that he has chosen to encourage Islamophobia by attacking Islam rather than the terrorists who carry out violence, be it Muslims, White Supremacists or Nazi ideologists. Sadly, President Macron has chosen to deliberately provoke Muslims, incl his own citizens,— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) October 25, 2020
“Nor should the world have to wait for a pogrom against Muslims, which is ongoing in countries like India and in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir, to be completed before Islamophobia is banned. “This in itself is reflective of prejudice and bias that will encourage further radicalisation.”
The prime minister while referring to Zuckerberg’s step of banning any posts that criticised or questioned the holocaust, which was the culmination of the Nazi pogrom of the Jews in Germany and across Europe, said that today a similar pogrom was being witnessed against Muslims in different parts of the world.
“Unfortunately, in some states, Muslims are being denied their citizenship rights and their democratic personal choices from dress to worship.
through encouraging the display of blasphemous cartoons targeting Islam & our Prophet PBUH. By attacking Islam, clearly without having any understanding of it, President Macron has attacked & hurt the sentiments of millions of Muslims in Europe & across the world.— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) October 25, 2020
“In India, anti-Muslim laws and measures such as CAA and NRC as well as targeted killings of Muslims and blaming Muslims for coronavirus are reflective of the abominable phenomenon of Islamophobia,” he said.
The premier pointed out that in France, Islam had been associated with terrorism and publication of blasphemous caricatures targeting the religion and the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) had been allowed.
“This will lead to further polarisation and marginalisation of Muslims in France. How will the French distinguish between radical extremist Muslim citizens and the mainstream Muslim citizenry of Islam?” he questioned.
“We have seen how marginalisation inevitably leads to extremism – something the world does not need," he cautioned.
On Wednesday, the French president had criticised Muslims and vowed not to "give up cartoons" depicting the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
He also contended that Samuel Paty — a teacher who was beheaded last month for showing sketches of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) — was "killed because Islamists want our future".
Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry also slammed the French President saying that "the ignorant extremists of France do not love world peace and they are offending thousands by their rigid policies regarding Islam".
محمد مصطفیٰﷺ کا احترام انسانیت کا احترام ہے،فرانس کےناسمجھ شدت پسندوں کو دنیا کا امن عزیز نہیں اور وہ ناقابل قبول حرکتیں کر رہے ہیں،حرمت رسولﷺ ہمارے ایمان کا حصہ ہےاس کو اچھی طرح سمجھ لو اور یہ بھی سمجھ لو کہ دنیا کا امن ایک دوسرے کے عقائد کو مان کر اور سمجھ کرچلنے سے وابستہ ہے— Ch Fawad Hussain (@fawadchaudhry) October 25, 2020
Turkish President Erdogan had also called out Macron by asking: “What is the problem of this person called Macron with Muslims and Islam? Macron needs treatment on a mental level.” The French ambassador to Turkey was also recalled after President Erdogan criticised Macron for failing to curb rising Islamophobia in France.
President Macron earlier unveiled a plan to defend France’s secular values against what he termed as “Islamist radicalism”, saying the religion was “in crisis” all over the world prompting severe backlash.