In a rare move, India has come out in support of France’s President Emmanuel Macron, whom Pakistan and Turkey have targeted for strongly defending the French people’s right to freedom of expression.
After the gruesome murder of a History teacher outside his school, French President Macron had termed the incident as “an Islamist attack” and he had leveled other serious allegations against the Muslim community that has sparked a heated response from various Islamic countries especially Pakistan and Turkey.
New Delhi joined major European countries in condemning the personal attacks against the French President.
Condemning the murder, Macron said: “We will continue… We will defend the freedom that you taught so well and we will bring secularism.” The President said we would “not give up cartoons, drawings, even if others back down”.
In response, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused Macron of running an anti-Islamic agenda, and said the French President needed a “mental health check”.
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan said Macron was encouraging anti-Muslim sentiments and provoking Muslims; Iran and Saudi Arabia condemned the cartoons.
In an official statement, the Ministry of External Affairs said on Wednesday: “We strongly deplore the personal attacks in unacceptable language on President Emmanuel Macron in violation of the most basic standards of international discourse. We also condemn the brutal terrorist attack that took the life of a French teacher in a gruesome manner that has shocked the world. We offer our condolences to his family and the people of France.”
India’s statement comes a day before Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla’s scheduled October 29-November 4 visit to France, Germany and the United Kingdom.