France Considers Special Envoy to Promote Macron’s Views in Muslim Countries

World

Arab leaders condemned the killing of French teacher Samuel Paty in Paris in October, and the subsequent killings in Nice and the latest terror attacks in Vienna, but the degree of criticism of Macron’s stance on freedom of expression has alarmed officials who want to ensure that the French point of view gets a fair hearing in the Muslim world.

France is looking at seeking to appoint a special ambassador to explain President Emmanuel Macron’s thinking on secularism and freedom of expression, according to The Guardian.

The envoy would also be charged with helping to prevent any further spread of the anti-france sentiment that has been seen in some majority-Muslim countries in recent weeks.

Tensions between some Muslims and france started to increase in September after Macron refused to pass judgment on the decision by satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo to re-publish cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad that had previously unleashed a wave of indignation in the Muslim world when they were originally printed.

Macron’s statement has already worsened ties between France and a number of majority-Muslim countries, most notably Turkey. A call to boycott French products, encouraged by Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has also been launched.

Other prominent Muslim leaders have followed Erdogan’s lead and ramped up the anti-French rhetoric.

Following the murder last month of a school teacher near Paris,…

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