PARIS: After boycott of French products by a large number of people in the Muslim world, President of France Emmanuel Macron has stepped back from his anti-Islam rhetoric.
In an interview with Al-Jazeera, Macron said he wanted to clear his stance on the “misunderstandings” which led to protests across the world against France over his remarks.
Last month, he had supported the blasphemous caricatures of the Prophet of Islam (SAWW) published by Charlie Hebdo magazine, which sparked outrage in Muslim countries.
However, he has taken a U-turn on his statement now saying that the magazine was not owned by the government and the caricatures did not represent the government’s position on the issue. He said he respected the feelings of the Muslim community.
“I understand the feelings that this arouses; I respect them. But I want you to understand the role that I have. My role is to calm things down, as I am doing here, but at the same time it is to protect these rights,” he said hinting at seeking to calm tensions with the Muslims.
The French president also denounced calls for a boycott of French products as “unworthy” and “unacceptable”.