Macron says ‘’ understand Muslims might be shocked’ by caricatures of the Prophet Mohammad

Ebangla Bureau

UNDER fire by Muslim leaders across the globe, French President Emmanuel Macron has said that he could understand if Muslims were shocked by cartoons of the prophet Mohammad, as French authorities on Saturday sought to ascertain if a young Tunisian suspected of killing three people in a knife rampage inside a Nice church had outside help. Muslins are enraged after the republication in  September of cartoons of the prophet Mohammad by the Charlie Hebdo weekly magazine. It was followed by an attack outside its former offices, the beheading of a teacher and the attack in Nice, reported  France 24. Macron sparked protests in the Muslim world after the murder earlier this month of teacher Samuel Paty, who had shown his class a cartoon of Prophet Mohammad saying France would never renounce its right to caricature. He made a vain attempt to reach out to the Muslims who are of the view that he had hurt their religious sentiment.  In an  interview to Qatar-based TV channel Al-Jazeera, seeking to strike a softer tone by trying to explain French constitution’s views on religion he said, “I can understand that people could be shocked by the caricatures  but I will never accept that violence can be justified.” I consider it our duty to protect our freedoms and our rights,” he added in an extract of the interview as France is yet to recover from the shock due to the attack in Nice. Macron has gone public saying it was an  “Islamist” terror. The alleged assailant, 21, arrived in Europe from Tunisia last month and, according to prosecutors, killed the sexton, a Brazilian woman, and a French woman in the attack in the Notre-Dame Basilica on Thursday morning. He cut the throat of Nadine Devillers, 60, and the sexton Vincent Loques, 55. A Brazilian mother, Simone Barreto Silva, who was stabbed several times, took refuge in a nearby restaurant but died of her wounds there. The knife-wielding attacker was shot by police multiple times and is currently in a serious condition in hospital. Investigators are yet to question him and his precise motivations remain unclear. “It is still too early to say if there were others complicit, what his motivations were in coming to France and when this idea took root in him,” France 24 quoted a source privy to the inquiry.

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