PARIS (Reuters) – A Pakistani minister on Sunday withdrew comments she made earlier that President Emmanuel Macron treated Muslims like the Nazis treated Jews during World War II.
The French Foreign Minister had asked the Pakistani authorities to withdraw the comments posted on Twitter by the Pakistani Federal Minister of Human Rights Shireen Mazari.
She posted the comments following a clash between Pakistan and France over the publication of images of the Prophet Muhammad by a French magazine.
The images sparked anger and protests in the Muslim world, particularly in Pakistan.
“Macron does to Muslims what the Nazis did to Jews – Muslim children will get identification numbers (other children will not) just as Jews were forced to wear the yellow star on their clothes for identification Mazari said in a tweet linked to an online article.
The article was, however, amended earlier on Sunday to reflect the fact that the idea, if implemented, would apply to all children in France and not just Muslim children.
In a follow-up tweet on Sunday, Mazari first doubled down on his claims following a condemnation by the French Foreign Ministry on Saturday evening, which called them “blatant lies, imbued with an ideology of hatred and violence”.
Later on Sunday, however, Mazari tweeted: “The article I quoted was corrected by the relevant publication, I also deleted my tweet on the same. “
She said she was alerted to the correction by the French ambassador to Pakistan.
Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told RTL radio the comments were unacceptable and should be removed from Twitter, but said he remained cautious as some media had been exploited and had since clarified their stories .
The Pakistani parliament adopted a resolution at the end of October urging the government to recall its envoy from Paris, accusing Macron of “hatred” against Muslims.
Macron had paid tribute to a French history professor beheaded by an 18-year-old man of Chechen origin for showing cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad in a course on freedom of expression.
French officials said the beheading was an attack on France’s core value of freedom of expression.
After satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo republished the cartoons in September, Macron defended secularism, saying that freedom of belief goes hand in hand with freedom of expression, including the right to blaspheme.