Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Indonesian government has denounced French President Emmanuel Macron’s remarks on Islam and support for depiction and publication of cartoons on Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), which have sparked much ire in the Islamic World.

To register its protest, the Indonesian Foreign Ministry summoned French Ambassador to Indonesia and Timor Leste, Olivier Chambard, on Tuesday (October 27, 2020) and sought an explanation for Macron's controversial statements.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Teuku Faizasyah told ANTARA here on Wednesday that Ambassador Chambard was summoned so he could be apprised of Indonesia's official stance on the ‘anti-Islam' remarks Macron recently made in a speech.

The Indonesian government has objected to President Macron's comments linking Islam to terrorism or extremism, saying associating any religion to acts of terror cannot be justified and would deeply offend adherents of the religions, Faizasyah said.

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.

The governments of Muslim majority countries such as Turkey, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, and Malaysia have condemned Macron's ‘anti-Islam’ remarks and ‘Islamophobic’ behavior.

Meanwhile, Muslims at the grassroots have also expressed anger and disappointment over Macron's defense of the right to reprint and depict caricatures of Prophet Muhammad by staging anti-France rallies and intensifying campaigns for boycotting French goods.

Paty was killed by Abdullakh Anzorov, 18, on October 16, 2020. Anzorov, who was later shot dead by the French police, had felt offended over Paty showing cartoons of Prophet Muhammad to students.

"France will not give up our cartoons," Macron had said 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”, deputy chairman of the Acehnese Ulema Consultative Assembly (MPU), Faisal Ali, had 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 remarked. (INE)

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Translator: Genta TM, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Suharto
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