He claimed that the NGO had links with “radical Islamist movements” and accused them of “legitimizing terrorist attacks”. The organization has denied the charges.
Idriss Sihamedi, the founder of the association, took to Twitter to deny all accusations against Barakacity, which has provided aid to 2 million people in 26 countries for 10 years, calling them “defamation” and “lying”.
Speaking to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Twitter, Sihamedi requested asylum in Turkey.
“I would like to apply for political asylum for myself and my staff (at BarakaCity), because I am not safe in France,” he tweeted in Turkish.
On October 14, police raided Sihamedi’s home and arrested him. He was released the next day.
The raid was one of many that took place across France following President Emmanuel Macron’s announcement to fight “Islamist separatism” in the country in a controversial speech, in which he described Islam ” a religion in crisis all over the world ”.
Tensions have escalated further since the murder of high school teacher Samuel Patty on October 16, which showed blasphemous cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad in class.
Macron defended the cartoons, claiming that France “would not give up our cartoons”, sparking outrage in the Muslim world.
Along with condemnations from Turkey, Iran and Pakistan, among others, there have been calls to boycott French products, protests, as well as attacks on French websites.