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French prez Emmanuel Macron says he won’t condemn caricatures of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ

French President Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday it was not his place to pass judgment on the decision by satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo to re-publish cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad ﷺ, saying France has freedom of expression.

But Macron, speaking on a visit to Lebanon, said it was incumbent on French citizens to show civility and respect for each other, and avoid a “dialogue of hate.”

 

The magazine re-published the cartoons on the eve of a trial in Paris of alleged accomplices in a 2015 attack on the magazine’s offices by gunmen in which 12 people were killed.

When they were first published by Charlie Hebdo and other publications, the cartoons unleashed a wave of anger in the Muslim world. For Muslims, any depiction of the Prophet ﷺ is blasphemous.

“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 said.