Muslims vs France: What if Both Sides' Views of One Another Are Extreme?

Published October 25th, 2020 - 06:16 GMT
Muslims vs France: What if Views of Both Sides On Each Other Are Extreme?
Voices of Muslims who are calling for a boycott of goods produced in France argue that freedom of speech "needs to be both responsible and respectful". (AFP: Pascal GUYOT)

For several weeks now, Muslims in France and in many other parts of the world have been enraged over cartoons they have perceived as offensive to their prophet, ones that were published by the satirical often controversial magazine Charlie Hebdo.

The recent clash between the two sides has recently been fueled after a Muslim young student beheaded a teacher who had shown the same cartoons to his class, "as a lesson in freedom of speech."

The horrific beheading of Samuel Bate came as a shock to inaugurate weeks of tensions between French officials and Muslims, especially that it took place after remarks made by the French president Emmanuel Macron about "a crisis that Islam lives in the world." 

Now, as the millions of Muslims take to social media protesting the French "insistence" on mocking their symbol, the French discourse stresses the value of "freedom of speech" in their country, which makes no exceptions for anyone, and that responding to offensive drawings should never include violent actions.

However, the voices of Muslims, who are calling for a boycott of goods produced in France, argue that freedom of speech "needs to be both responsible and respectful". 

While many analysts are linking these recent clashes to the upcoming French elections, where the current President Macron faces a growing right-wing that is calling for tougher measures on immigration, a rising number of Muslims are reporting fear for their lives in France and Europe in general, in light of the most recent violent attacks, including the stabbing of two Muslim women near the Eiffel tower.


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