Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives (DPR), Ahmad Basarah, has criticized French President Emmanuel Macron over his defense of the right to depict and publish cartoons of Prophet Muhammad, citing freedom of expression.
“The freedom of expression is a fundamental part of democracy, but it does not mean that every individual is free to do whatever he or she wants by violating other people's rights, including the one related to faith,” Basarah said in a statement here on Tuesday.
Commenting on global news reports of Macron’s controversial ‘anti-Islam’ remarks, Basarah said, as a developed nation, France must be able to show inter-faith tolerance towards all religious adherents, including Muslims inside and outside the country.
Therefore, President Macron is advised to be wise in making statements so they do not make Muslims inside and outside France feel offended, he said adding, Islam currently has 1.9 billion adherents all over the world.
“All states must participate in maintaining world peace,” said the senior politician from the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDIP).
Macron's remarks following the beheading of Samuel Paty, a history and geography teacher, for showing cartoons of Prophet Muhammad during a class on October 6, 2020, have sparked controversy and fueled a backlash from Muslims worldwide over the past few days.
Abdullakh Anzorov, 18, who killed Paty on October 16, 2020, was later shot dead by the French police. Anzorov had felt offended over Paty showing the cartoons in class.
"France will not give up our cartoons," Macron said while responding to Paty's death, as reported by the BBC.
Following his death, Paty was bestowed the Légion d'honneur, France's highest honor.
In the aftermath of his murder, cartoons depicting Prophet Muhammad, made by Charlie Hebdo, were projected onto public buildings.
In response to Macron's “Islamophobic” behavior and “hostility” towards Islam, Prophet Muhammad, and Muslims all over the world, the Islam Defenders Front (FPI) denounced the French leader and categorized him as a "kafir harbi” or infidel.
“Macron's decision to bestow Samuel Paty with the Légion d'honneur is obviously a crime against the teachings of Islam," the FPI central executive board disclosed in its letter dated October 24, 2020.
In the letter signed by FPI general chairman Ahmad Shabri Lubis and FPI secretary-general Munarman, the Muslim-based organization also urged Muslim communities globally to rise from the oppressions of the "modern civilization of ignorance" that projects Islam as an enemy.
Prior to the Paty case, French satirical weekly magazine Charlie Hebdo had frequently published cartoons on Prophet Muhammad that had triggered public ire in several Muslim-populated nations.
Two people had attacked the offices of the magazine on January 7, 2015, after Charlie Hebdo published cartoons on Prophet Muhammad saying their publication was under the freedom of expression. At least 12 persons were killed and 11 others were injured in the attack. (Antaranews)