France’s foreign ministry has demanded Pakistan authorities withdraw comments made by one of its ministers that President Emmanuel Macon was treating Muslims like Nazis had treated Jews in World War 2.
The comments posted on Twitter by Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari on Saturday came as part of a clash between Pakistan and France over the publication of images of the Prophet Mohammad by a French magazine. The images have sparked anger and protests in the Muslim world, especially in Pakistan.
“Macron is doing to Muslims what the Nazis did to the Jews – Muslim children will get ID numbers (other children won’t) just as Jews were forced to wear the yellow star on their clothing for identification,” Mazari said in a tweet linking to an online article.
In a follow-up tweet on Sunday, Mazari doubled down on her claims following a condemnation by France’s foreign ministry late on Saturday.
“These hateful words are blatant lies, imbued with an ideology of hatred and violence. Such slander is unworthy of this level of responsibility. We reject them with the greatest firmness,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Agnes von der Muhll said, adding that Paris had informed the Pakistan embassy of its strong condemnation of the comments.
“Pakistan must rectify these remarks and return to the path of a dialogue based on respect.”
Pakistan’s parliament at the end of October passed a resolution urging the government to recall its envoy from Paris, accusing Macron of “hate-mongering” against Muslims.
Macron had paid tribute to a French history teacher who was beheaded by an 18-year-old man of Chechen origin for showing cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad in a class on freedom of speech.
French officials have said the beheading was an assault on the core French value of freedom of expression.
After satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo re-published the cartoons in September, Macron said the freedom to blaspheme went hand in hand with the freedom of belief in France.