Europe

France's President Macron says he understands Muslim feelings on Prophet image

PARIS (BLOOMBERG) – French President Emmanuel Macron told Arab broadcaster Al-Jazeera on Saturday (Oct 31) he understood Muslim feelings towards cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad and said there are people who distort Islam’s teachings, days after a Tunisian migrant killed three people in an attack on a church in Nice.

Mr Macron’s government has vowed to crack down on Islamist radicals amid protests by Muslims over the publication of cartoons many of them find offensive.

An assailant beheaded a teacher in Paris earlier this month after he showed the cartoons in a class discussion about freedom of expression.

Mr Macron, who had earlier said Islam faced a “crisis”, told Al-Jazeera that his remarks have been distorted to make it appear as though he were supportive of the cartoons, which he said were published by independent media.

France is facing calls across the Muslim world for a boycott of its products, while Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the French leader needs to undergo a mental examination.

Al-Jazeera reported that Mr Macron said most victims of terrorism are Muslim, and the acts committed in the name of the religion were a blight on them.

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