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Turkic Council expresses concern amid cartoon row

Turkic Council expresses concern amid cartoon row
Secretary general says provocative statements leading to 'unbridgeable gaps' between France, Muslim world

By Seda Sevencan

ANKARA (AA) - A top official of the Turkic Council, an international organization comprising some of the Turkic countries, on Tuesday expressed concern over display and publication of blasphemous caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad in France.

Secretary General Baghdad Amreyev said the act, as well as controversial remarks by some French politicians in the name of freedom of expression, are leading to "unbridgeable gaps" between France and the Muslim world.

In a statement, he urged to shun the mindset that equates Islam with terrorism, and called for an end to such provocative behavior for inclusivity in France.

Earlier this month, France's President Emmanuel Macron accused French Muslims of “separatism,” and described Islam as a “a religion in crisis all over the world."

Tensions further escalated after the Oct. 16 murder of a French teacher who showed caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad in class. Macron paid tribute to him, and said France would "not give up our cartoons."

Insulting cartoons by Charlie Hebdo, a French weekly magazine, were also projected on buildings in a few cities.

Several Arab countries, Turkey, Iran, and Pakistan have censured Macron’s attitude toward Muslims and Islam, with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan saying the French leader needs "mental treatment."

While calls to boycott French products are circulating online in many nations, Erdogan has urged Turks "to never help French brands or buy them.

In Bangladesh, thousands of people took part in an anti-France rally in the capital Dhaka.

source: News Feed
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