PARIS – France on Saturday denounced a tweet from Pakistan’s human rights minister, which compared President Emmanuel Macron’s treatment of Muslims to the way Jews were treated by the Nazis during World War II.
As tensions continue to simmer between the European nation and the Islamic world, Shireen Mazari, former journalist and active member of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s team, wrote that “Macron is doing to Muslims what the Nazis did to Jews. “.
She added: “Muslim children will be given ID numbers (other children will not) just as Jews were forced to wear the yellow star on their clothes to identify themselves. “
Underneath her post, she shared an article claiming that Muslim children would be covered by a new French bill that would give them an identification number to ensure they attend school, as part of the large scale of the country to prevent radicalization of young people. The legislation was proposed because some families do not send their children to school in France.
If introduced, the bill would apply to all French children.
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French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin defended the plan earlier this week in an interview with French newspaper Le Figaro. “We must save these children from the clutches of the Islamists,” he said.
Mazari’s tweet was condemned by the French Foreign Ministry, which said in a statement on Saturday that the minister had spoken “in deeply shocking and insulting terms” of Macron and all of France.
“These hateful words are blatant lies, imbued with an ideology of hatred and violence,” he said. “Such slander is unworthy of this level of responsibility. We reject them with the greatest firmness.
Mazari then deleted the tweet.
Returning to Twitter on Sunday, she wrote that she had been contacted by the French envoy to Pakistan, who sent her a message saying that the article she shared with her comment had been corrected, so she decided to delete his tweet.
A wave of protests swept through Pakistan and a number of other Muslim-majority countries over Macron’s stance following last month’s religiously motivated attacks that saw a beheaded teacher on the streets in Paris and three people killed in a church in Nice.
Some burned effigies of the French president, while others shouted “death to France” and called for a boycott of French products.
The protests came after Macron vowed to fight “Islamist separatism,” which he said threatened to take control of some Muslim communities in France.
His comments have also been condemned by a number of Muslim political leaders, including Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan who said last month that Macron had “attacked Islam” and “hurt the feelings of millions of Muslims in Europe and in the rest of the world. the world”.
Nancy Ing reported from Paris, Mushtaq Yusufzai from Peshawar and Yuliya Talmazan from London.
Reuters contributed to this report.