JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – The Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has condemned French President Emmanuel Macron’s vow to fight ‘Islamic separatism’.
“[Macron’s] statement has offended over 2 billion Muslims globally and has sparked division among different faiths in the world,” the Ministry said in its website on Friday, 30 October.
“Freedom of expression should not be exercised in ways that tarnish the honor, sanctity and sacredness of religious values and symbols.
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The statement comes after a Muslim extremist beheaded French schoolteacher Samuel Paty in Paris earlier this October for showing a cartoon mocking the Prophet Muhammad in the French weekly Charlie Hebdo.
However, Indonesia also urged all sides to keep the peace. “As the largest Muslim-populated country and the third-largest democracy in the world, Indonesia urges the global community to put forward unity and religious tolerance, particularly amidst the ongoing pandemic.”
Indonesia also condemned the terror attack in Nice which killed three people and wounded dozens of others on October 29. The Ministry stepped up efforts to ensure the safety of Indonesian citizens in France.
“So far, we have yet to receive reports on whether any Indonesian citizens were injured [in the Nice attack],” noted the Ministry.
“The Indonesian Embassy in Paris and the Indonesian Consulate General in Marseile are coordinating with the [French] authorities and Indonesian organizations like the Indonesian Students Association to ensure that all Indonesian citizens in France are accounted for.”
To date there are 4,023 Indonesian nationals living in France. Twenty-five of them live in Nice and the surrounding parts of southern France.
President Macron has been criticized for his refusal to condemn the republishing of a cartoon mocking the Prophet Muhammad by the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine in September 2020, on grounds that the cartoon did not violate France’s secular constitution.
However, his statement to combat ‘Islamic separatism’ in France drew outrage from Muslim-majority countries.
The statement prompted leaders of Pakistan and Turkey to label Macron as Islamophobic, and triggered calls to boycott French products there and in other Muslim majority countries.
(Writer/Editor: Dani Prabowo)
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