The department sees Macron’s recent remarks as hate speech against the Muslim community.
Rabat – The Department of Islamic Studies at the European Benelux University in Belgium issued a press release to announce its plan to file a lawsuit against French President Emmanuel Macron for his “racism” towards the Arab and Muslim communities.
The department condemned the insults by Macron “in light of the civilizational and cultural openness and the spread of globalization across the world,” the statement reads.
The statement said that despite COVID-19, which urged the world to work as one to fight the pandemic, Macron “unfortunately appears to us to insult the Prophet Muhammad.”
The department said that Macron’s insults came long before the recent attacks in France that the president described as “Islamist terrorist attacks.”
“We regret that Mr. Macron represents France, the country of freedoms and beliefs, and at the same time, France is witnessing the repeated use of freedoms and beliefs through its president, to achieve personal or political gains and benefits,” it continued.
The department of Islamic Studies and Research at Benelux, therefore, decided to file a lawsuit at the European Court in Luxembourg against Macron for “contempt of religions, advocacy of hatred and threatening societal peace.”
The statement issued on October 26 came in response to Macron’s controversial remarks after he said that France will not give up its cartoons that Muslims consider offensive to the Prophet Muhammad.
The president defended Charlie Hebdo and its caricatures in response to the gruesome murder of Samuel Paty, a French teacher who displayed the satirical magazine’s cartoons in a class.
An 18-year-old man born in Russia beheaded the teacher.
Millions of Muslims and non-Muslims condemned the murder but saw Macron’s response as a provocation against Islam and Muslims across the world.
Macron’s statement was not the first against Islam. Weeks before the killing of Paty, Macron said Islam is in crisis around the world and vowed strict measures to fight “Islamist separatism” in France.
Following the murder of Paty, France cracked down on mosques and Islamic collectives as part of actions against “extremism.”
In response, millions of Muslims decided to launch a campaign to defend their religion and prophet.
The campaign targets French products, calling on Muslims and non-Muslims to boycott them in response to Macron’s rhetoric and the continuous use of cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad.
The calls for a boycott went viral on social networks, with millions of Muslims vowing to refrain from purchasing French-made products.
In an attempt to calm tension, Macron said last week that he can understand Muslims’ frustration against the cartoons, but described the boycott as “unacceptable” and “unworthy.”
France is still experiencing tension and Islamophobia due to violent attacks its leaders describe as Islamist terrorism. Last week on October 29, a man killed three people at a church in Nice, southern France. The 21-year-old man beheaded one of his victims and injured several others.