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PARIS, Oct 31 (KUNA) — French President Emmanuel Macron said on Saturday that he understands the feelings of Muslims over caricatures lampooning Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
“I can understand that people could be shocked by the caricatures but I will never accept that violence can be justified,” he told Al-Jazeera channel in an interview.
“The cartoons are not a governmental project, but rather they stem from free and independent newspapers that are not affiliated with the government,” he said.
Concerning the campaign launched to boycott the French products, he said he condemns it, adding it was made as a result of misunderstanding his remarks.
“I think that the reactions were due to lies and distortions of my words and because people understood that I support these cartoons,” he noted.
“Some people distort Islam and claim to defend it,” he pointed out.
He stated that Muslims are the most affected by the behavior of those who pervert Islam.
“We are at war and facing an external and internal enemy,” he added.
He stressed the countrys keenness on the freedom of belief and secularism.
Macron affirmed that France has no problem with any religion and all religions are practiced freely on its soil.
France was one of the first countries that interpreted the meaning of the Holy Quran, and opened a mosque and some big Islamic institutions, he went to say.
France combats anti-Semitism and racism in all its forms, and they are condemned and prohibited by the French law, he said.
He indicated that he will defend the freedom of expression and that press is free in the country.
Macron concluded that caricature is a right of French people, saying France would never renounce its right to caricature.