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Iran Press TV

Macron needs 'mental health treatment' for Islamophobic attitude: Erdogan

Iran Press TV

Saturday, 24 October 2020 5:17 PM

'What is the problem of this person called Macron with Muslims and Islam? Macron needs treatment on a mental level.'

Those are the words of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, verbally attacking his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron on Saturday for the second time this month over his Islamophobic attitude toward millions of Muslims living in France.

"What else can be said to a head of state who does not understand freedom of belief and who behaves in this way to millions of people living in his country who are members of a different faith?"

Macron said earlier this month he would fight "Islamist separatism," which according to him threatens to take control in some Muslim communities around France.

His remarks sparked sharp criticism from Muslim leaders and activists from around the world, including the Turkish president, who slammed Macron at the time for exercising "impertinence" and described his plan as an "open provocation."

Erdogan advised Macron "to pay more attention while talking about issues that he is ignorant about."

In the past two weeks and against the backdrop of Macron's proposal, several non-governmental organizations and mosques have been closed.

The government has now passed a draft law to the senate, seeking to prohibit the justification of a crime due to ethnic or religious motives on constitutional grounds.

Erdogan said that "the main goal of such initiatives led by Macron is to settle old scores with Islam and Muslims."

The draft law came a week after a teacher was beheaded outside his school in a Paris suburb.

Samuel Paty, a history teacher, had raised controversy and provoked anger over showing defamatory cartoons of Islam's Prophet Muhammad to his students.

He was murdered by an 18-year-old assailant, identified as Chechen Abdullakh Anzorov, who was shot dead by police soon after the killing.

The teacher had recently been the target of an angry campaign on social media, according to anti-terror prosecutor Jean-Francois Ricard.

Macron described the incident as an "Islamist terrorist attack," saying that Paty was murdered because he "taught freedom of expression."

A trial is already underway in France over the 2015 deadly attack on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo that had published cartoons of the prophet.

The magazine republished the offensive cartoons in the run-up to the trial last month, prompting anger among Muslims across the world.

The Macron administration has also come under fire for failing to condemn the republication of the cartoons.

Many believe the government's silence was not to defend freedom of speech, but meant to stoke freedom of hate speech against Muslims.

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