24 November 2020
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The French Embassy in Pakistan has accused Federal Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari of making a false accusation against France.

She recently tweeted about French President Emmanuel Macron’s proposed ‘Charter of Republican Values’. The move comes as the French government looks to clampdown on a radical version of Islam.

On November 18, President Macron gave the French Council of Muslim Faith 15 days to work with the country’s interior ministry on the charter.

Under the charter:

A national council of imams will be created and will issue imams accreditation Foreign interference in Muslim groups is prohibitedIslam is a religion not a political movementRestrictions on home-schooling and harsher punishments for those who intimidate public officials on religious groundsGiving children an identification number under the law that would be used to ensure they are attending school. Parents who break the law could face up to six months in jail as well as heavy finesA ban on sharing the personal information of a person in a way that allows them to be located by people who want to harm themA draft of the charter will be discussed by the French cabinet on December 9.

France has the largest Muslim population in Western Europe and has recently been hit by a spate of three suspected jihadist attacks in a month, including the murder of a teacher, Samuel Paty, who showed caricatures of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) to his class.

President Macron has been severely criticised for his response. He described Islam as a religion “in crisis” and defended the right to publish the caricatures.

Calls for a boycott of French products have been made in many Muslim countries and Macron has become a reviled figure.

Mazari’s tweet accuses President Macron of doing to Muslims what the Nazis did to the Jews. “Muslim children will get ID numbers (other children won’t) just as Jews were forced to wear the yellow star on their clothing for identification,” she wrote.

Macron is doing to Muslims what the Nazis did to the Jews – Muslim children will get ID numbers (other children won’t) just as Jews were forced to wear the yellow star on their clothing for identification. https://t.co/YdP2L3flJS— Shireen Mazari (@ShireenMazari1) November 21, 2020

The French Embassy’s reply was succinct but it was unclear what it was calling fake news. The publication Mazari quoted, The Muslim Vibe, listed the same information about the charter as leading news sites such as the BBC.

Fake news and false accusation. https://t.co/BKrnFCQp1Z— France in Pakistan (@FranceinPak) November 22, 2020

It is likely that the embassy took issue with Mazari likening Macron to the Nazis.

Abdul Gh Lone