Banda Aceh (ANTARA) - Deputy Chairman of the Acehnese Ulema Consultative Assembly (MPU) Faisal Ali appealed to the Indonesian Government to join the calls for boycotting French products in Indonesia.

"The government's participation will demonstrate that Indonesia, with the biggest Muslim population in the world, has felt offended by French President Emmanuel Macron's intolerance towards Islam and Muslims," he told ANTARA here on Tuesday.

Ali remarked that Macron's anti-Islamic remarks and support for reprinting and depicting cartoons mocking Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) have apparently exposed his intolerance towards Islam and Muslims within and outside France.

"We condemn the French president's anti-Islam remarks," he noted, adding that Macron's Islamophobic statements appear to project Islam in a negative light.

Ideally, as a leader of a well-developed country, Macron should steer clear from passing anti-Islamic statements since Islam is a faith that should not be perceived as an enemy, he emphasized.

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 stated in response 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, the Indonesian Foreign Ministry was reported by Republika to have denounced the French president for supporting the rights to reprint and depict Prophet Muhammad's cartoons.

According to Republika, one of Indonesia's leading news outlets, the Indonesian Foreign Ministry had also summoned French Ambassador to Indonesia and Timor Leste Olivier Chambard on Tuesday (Oct 27) over Macron's statements and stance to instigate Islamophobic behavior.

Early this week, the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) had appealed to Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi to summon Ambassador Olivier Chambard over Macron's Islamophobic statements that had triggered several acts of violence globally.

MUI Deputy General Chairman KH Muhyiddin Junaidi had stated earlier that President Macron's statements that project Islam and Muslims worldwide in a negative light by accusing the religion of being in crisis have also incited Islamophobic sentiments in France.

On Tuesday, Patron of the Jakarta-based Al Azhar Youth Leader Institute (AYLI), Sariat Arifia, had also called for a boycott of French products in Indonesia in response to President Macron's reckless remarks.

Arifia also appealed to the Indonesian government to sever diplomatic relations with France while highlighting that there are several other countries that are friendly and keen to forge cooperation without "insulting the Messenger of God".

As the world's largest Muslim population, Indonesia's concrete response to Macron's comments on Islam, Prophet Muhammad, and Muslims is eagerly awaited by many other nations, he noted. Related news: Outrage grows over Macron remarks
Related news: Muhammadiyah denounces French president's 'anti-Islam' remarks
Related news: President Macron deliberately stirring Islamophobia in France: MUI


Translator: M.Haris SA, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Suharto
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