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“French President’s statement, Islam is facing a crisis is offensive” – Anwar Ibrahim

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Kuala Lumpur : “French President Emmanuel Macron’s (pic) statement that Islam is facing a crisis around the world is offensive as it is unreasonable. It promotes the very impasse it seeks to denounce. More importantly, it makes the ‘problem’ exclusively a Muslim affair rather than a pernicious perspective embedded in doctrinaire French laïcité” Malaysian opposition leader and President of PKR, Anwar Ibrahim said.

“There is no defence for the violence and murders of the men of blood, the misguided homicidal monsters who pervert Islam. Macron himself has, on occasion, recognised informed definition of the complex origins and aberrant nature of this modern scourge. It is an evil that afflicts Muslims and the Muslim World far more than the tragedies that have overwhelmed France. I mourn for Mr Samuel Paty as for all the victims of such depredations” Anwar Ibrahim said in a media statement released yesterday (27 October).

“To expand reasoned diagnosis of a radical fringe in order to then implicate the whole not only of Muslim communities everywhere but the character of Islam itself is gross ignorance. Monsieur Macron needs to be aware that freedom of speech is an essential value of Islam. Without freedom of debate, thought and inquiry one cannot pursue the prime objective of identifying and promoting what is good and denouncing, defying and defeating that which is evil. With freedom comes responsibility, a responsibility notably absent from the rabble rousing smears essayed by Monsieur le President. It was French laïcité that first gave the world the concept of terrorism in the aftermath of the Revolution. No society, ideology or religion is immune from spawning single minded brutality and plunging into barbarism. To misdiagnose, misconceive and misrepresent the commonality of the problem is to foreclose the possibility of open, reasoned debate of the issues. France cows its own Muslim community with the dehumanizing and demonising effects of the kind of harangues Macron so easily lapses into” Anwar further noted in his statement.

“The Muslim World does not need lectures any more than it can tolerate libelous smears and Islamophobic rhetoric from the French President. So long as he persists in his purblind ignorance of the breadth and sophistication of Islam as a world of values and ideals so long we will fail to advance the cause of confronting the fundamentalist prejudices that afflict both sides. The persistent danger exists of propelling us all towards an erroneous and futile clash of civilizations scenario. I acknowledge that President Macron and the French intelligentsia are not alone. Muslims the world over need to recover and reconnect with a higher vision of Islam. Locking them into perennial sterile refuting unjust accusation and slur may serve France’s national political agenda. It does nothing to advance open debate, mutual understanding and common cause against the evil of terrorism” Anwar Ibrahim said.

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