Terms it an 'insult' to people who elected him president
Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Wednesday called the French president’s defence of caricatures depicting Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) a “stupid act” and an “insult” to those who voted for him.
“Ask (French President Emmanuel Macron) why he supports insulting God’s messenger in the name of freedom of expression. Does freedom of expression mean insulting, especially a sacred personage?” Khamenei said in a message to “French youth” on his official website.
“Isn’t this stupid act an insult to the reason of the people who elected him?” he added.
Macron has strongly defended secular values and the right to mock religion following the murder of a French schoolteacher who had shown his class caricatures of Prophet Mohammed (PBUH).
Macron’s comments triggered protests and a call to boycott French goods in some Muslim-majority countries.
“The next question to ask is, ‘why is it a crime to raise doubts about the holocaust?'” Khamenei said.
“Why should anyone who writes about such doubts be imprisoned, while insulting the Prophet, peace be upon him, is allowed?”
Khamenei’s remarks follow a chorus of criticism directed at Macron by top Iranian officials, including President Hassan Rouhani, who warned on Wednesday that insulting the Holy Prophet (PBUH) may encourage “violence and bloodshed”.
On Tuesday, a senior French diplomat in Iran was summoned to protest the “unacceptable behaviour of the French authorities”.