Emmanuel Macron, the President of France, has refused to condemn cartoons of Prophet Mohammad published by Charlie Hebdo. On Tuesday, while speaking during his visit to Lebanon, Macron said that it is essential that France’s citizens show respect for each other. They should avoid a “dialogue of hate.” However, he refused to criticize the decision of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo to republish the cartoon on Prophet Mohammad.
According to a report published in BFM TV, he said, “In France, there is a freedom to blaspheme which is attached to freedom of conscience. I am there to protect all these freedoms. I do not have to qualify the choice of journalists. They can criticize a president, governors, blaspheme.”
“It’s never the place of a president of the Republic to pass judgment on the editorial choice of a journalist or newsroom, never. Because we have freedom of the press”, Macron added.
Tribute to the victims of attack on Charlie Hebdo office
Macron also paid tribute to the victims of the January 2015 attacks at the Charlie Hebdo office after they published cartoons of Prophet Mohammad for the first time. He said, “we will all have a thought for the women and men who were cowardly shot because they drew, wrote, corrected, were there to help, to deliver.”
The trial in the case begins this week. Charlie Hebdo republished the article yesterday that stirred the controversy to mark the beginning of the trial against the alleged attackers and accomplices. He further added, “Beyond the trial that will begin tomorrow, and I don’t have to express myself on this point as president, we will have a thought for all those who fell.”
The attack on Charlie Hebdo office
On 7th January 2015, two Islamist terrorists entered the offices of Charlie Hebdo forcefully in Paris. They gunned down 12 and injured 11 in the attack. They identified themselves as members of an Islamic terrorist group Al Qaeda and claimed that the attack was against the magazine’s cartoons on Prophet Mohammad. The assailants were later identified as two brothers named Said and Cherif Kouachi.