Male’, Maldives – The Government of Maldives has released a statement condemning the attempts to denigrate the religion of Islam.
The governments statement comes after the French President Emmanuel Macron publicly defended cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed during the tribute to the murdered high school teacher Samuel Paty, who was beheaded earlier this month during a terror attack in a northern suburb of Paris.
The Maldivian governments statement stated that any derogatory remarks and blasphemous publications towards the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) cannot be considered as exercising the freedom of expression and that it is hate speech against the religion.
The statement also stated that Maldives would remain committed to uphold the freedom of expression but opposes all forms of extremism whether it is in the name of religion or under the false pretense of the freedom of expression. It also stated that Maldives disapproves of any attempts to link terrorism or any form of extremist violence to the peaceful religion of Islam and urged everyone to exercise respect and tolerance.
Many have called out that Macron’s comments were Islamophobic and would encourage hate against Muslims, extremism and violence around the world. Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan had stated that Macron was spreading hatred and had also called to boycott French products. He also said that Macron needs mental treatment which lead to the French to recall their ambassador to Turkey.
Other countries such as Morocco and Pakistan also denounced the remarks by Macron as cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed, which are considered blasphemous in Islam. The Moroccan foreign ministry released a statement stating that freedom of an individual ends where the freedom of others and their beliefs begin and also stated that freedom of expression cannot explain the attacks and provocations on Islam, a religion with nearly 2 billion adherents worldwide.