Macron PANIC: Iran locked in feud with France in extremism row – ‘clear provocation’

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Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Mr Macron’s defence of the publication of satirical cartoons picturing Prophet Muhammad encouraged extremism. In tweet shared on his Twitter account, Mr Zarif said: “Muslims are the primary victims of the ‘cult of hatred’ —empowered by colonial regimes & exported by their own clients.

“Insulting 1.9B Muslims—& their sanctities—for the abhorrent crimes of such extremists is an opportunistic abuse of freedom of speech.

“It only fuels extremism.”

Mr Macron had previously commented on the killing French teacher allegedly at the hands of a Chechen teenager.

Samuel Paty was beheaded on October 16 after showing students cartoons of Prophet Muhammad “because Islamists want our future”.

On Sunday, Mr Macron said in a tweet: “We will not give in, ever.

“We do not accept hate speech and defend reasonable debate.”

The French President vowed to combat “Islamist separatism”, which he claimed Muslim communities around France were at risk of.

During a visit to the Paris suburb of Les Mureaux, Mr Macron said: “What we need to fight is Islamist separatism.

“The problem is an ideology which claims its own laws should be superior to those of the Republic.”

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan hit out at Mr Macron over his attitude towards the muslim community.

He said Mr Macron required medical treatment and “mental checks”.

Following the scathing remarks, France recalled its envoy to Turkey.

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During an address at a provincial congress of his Justice and Development (AK) Party on Saturday, Mr Erdogan said: “What is the problem of this person called Macron with Muslims and Islam? Macron needs treatment on a mental level.

“What else can be said to a head of state who does not understand freedom of belief and who behaves in this way to millions of people living in his country who are members of a different faith?

“First of all, have mental checks.”

Mr Erdogan’s comments led France to recall its ambassador in Turkey and to label his remarks as “unacceptable”.

A French presidential official told the AFP news agency: “President Erdogan’s comments are unacceptable.

“Excess and rudeness are not a method.

“We demand that Erdogan change the course of his policy because it is dangerous in every respect.”

The official, who wished to remain anonymous, said Paris had noticed “the absence of messages of condolence and support” from Mr Erdogan following the killing of Samuel Paty.

On October 6, Mr Erdogan said Mr Macron’s remarks on “Islamist separatism” were “a clear provocation”.

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