Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian’s visit comes in the wake of several attacks in France apparently provoked by anger over the defence of the caricatures, considered blasphemous by Muslims, as freedom of expression.
After meeting Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, Le Drian said an “anti-French” campaign in the Muslim world had often been the result of a distortion of French President Emmanuel Macron’s comments on the issue.
“We have a first principle which is the highest respect for Islam,” Le Drian told reporters. “I also want to say that Muslims are fully part of society in France.
“The second message is that we’re confronted by a terrorism threat, fanaticism, on our soil but also elsewhere, and this battle is a common battle.”
Suggested Reading by Zia H Shah MD, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times:
Article 10 of European Convention on human rights provides the right to freedom of expression, subject to certain restrictions that are “in accordance with law” and “necessary in a democratic society.” This right includes the freedom to hold opinions, and to receive and impart information and ideas, but allows restrictions for:
- interests of national security
- territorial integrity or public safety
- prevention of disorder or crime
- protection of health or morals
- protection of the reputation or the rights of others
- preventing the disclosure of information received in confidence
- maintaining the authority and impartiality of the judiciary