Iran’s Khamenei slams France and the ‘criminal act of a caricaturist’ on Prophet Mohammed’s birthday

Iran’s supreme leader has condemned the “dark nature of Western culture” and denounced the support of European leaders for “blasphemous” caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed, rejecting their defense of freedom of expression.

Speaking on Tuesday in a televised address to mark the Prophet Mohammed’s birthday, Ali Khamenei took fresh aim at Europe and France over the controversial Charlie Hebdo cartoons, describing support for its publication of caricatures of the Prophet as “bitter and ugly.”  

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Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei © Reuters / Morteza Nikoubazl
‘Insulting’ Prophet Mohammed cartoons should be a crime in France like ‘doubting Holocaust,’ says Iran’s Khamenei 

Khamenei labeled Western culture as a “savage civilization,” hiding behind the facade of modernism, science and technological advances. Whilst maintaining a strong anti-Western rhetoric throughout, Iran’s leader also appeared to allude to French President Emmanuel Macron in his criticism.

This is not just a downfall of French art; this is the politics of a government that is supporting this wrong act. Here is a political figure who explicitly supports this.

Macron previously declared Islam is “in crisis” and said he supported the circulation of the Mohammed caricatures as freedom of expression, particularly following the murder of Samuel Paty by a radicalized teenager. Paty was beheaded in a Paris suburb on October 16 after showing the cartoons to his pupils in a class on freedom of speech.

In his remarks on Tuesday, the Iranian leader acknowledged Paty’s killing and offered condolences, but questioned why anyone would “explicitly support that vile caricature.”

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© REUTERS/Mohammad Ponir Hossain
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Relations between France and several Muslim countries have been deeply strained since Macron announced a crackdown on extremist Islam in the wake of Paty’s murder and announced his support for the republication of Charlie Hebdo’s caricatures of the Prophet.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was among the more vocal of Macron’s critics, accusing the French leader of being mentally unwell for taking such a stance.

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Source:RT World News

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