For the MEP, Morocco should take care of the issue of its unaccompanied minors in France rather than defending Islam and Muslims.
Rabat – Nadine Morano, a member of the European Parliament and France’s former family affairs minister, expressed anger at Morocco’s condemnation of offensive cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad.
Morocco issued a statement on October 25 to condemn the insults to Islam, stressing that “freedom of an individual ends where the freedom of others and their beliefs begin.”
Replying to an article detailing the statement on Twitter, MEP Morano said Morocco “is a friendly country which must understand that we are attached to our way of life and that it is not negotiable.”
The former minister expressed her support for the “freedom of expression” justification the French government uses to defend the offensive cartoons.
Morano also suggested that Morocco should rather solve the issue of unaccompanied Moroccan minors in France instead of condemning offensive caricatures of the prophet.
“And that Morocco take back all its young minors who came illegally on our territory and who must be in its charge, not ours,” she wrote on Twitter.
Several French public figures have condemned the presence of unaccompanied minors from North Africa in France, arguing that the minors present a danger to the country.
Amid increasing anti-Muslim rhetoric and Islamophobia in France, thousands of Moroccans shared hashtags and posts supporting a boycott of French products, angering the European country.
The French government published a statement on October 25 to “urge” Arab countries to end the campaign and called the supporters of the boycott a “radical minority.”
MEP Morano supports her country’s stance, politicizing the issue by suggesting that the situation of unaccompanied minors in Europe denies Morocco the right to condemn France’s insults to Islam and Muslims.
Conflicts in France
Muslim and immigrant communities in France have faced racism and Islamophobia for many years.
Even before the murder of French teacher Samuel Paty on October 16, Muslims felt tension in France.
Earlier this month, French President Emmanuel Macron blamed Islam for separatism in the country and vowed to end a program that allows imams from Muslim countries to work in French mosques.
He also claimed that Islam is in crisis across the world, angering millions of Muslims.
The president added to his controversial statements following the gruesome murder of Paty, saying France will not give up its caricatures and claiming that Islamists want France’s future.
The remarks stirred controversy in the Muslim world, with Turkey’s president calling on Macron to have “mental checks.”
He questioned how a leader who was supposed to encourage coexistence could say such a statement that might result in Islamophobia and hatred.
Several xenophobic attacks took place in France after the murder of Paty. One of the attacks was on October 18 when suspects stabbed two women wearing the Muslim veil or hijab.
Another attack took place last week against two siblings from Jordan, who were assaulted for speaking Arabic.
According to reports, the attackers, a man and a woman, told the siblings to leave France, saying it is not for them.