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Macron lacks cunning of former French Presidents- Opinion

* An official document condemning Macron's current positions is still on the Elysee website.

* There is a general criticism of "Macron's" orientations, one of which is clear and direct, and the other is implicit, and both of them help refute his positions and interpretations.

(Zaman Al Wasl) Paris- Those who do not follow the local media might think that French people, including senior politicians,are completely united and integrated with "Emmanuel Macron" regarding the insults toward Islam and considering them freedom of expression and the embodiment of "the values ​​of the republic."

In France there are many voices within the first political class, who don't agree with Macron’s  orientation, and even his "absolute reverence" for freedom of expression, even if it leads to insult and slander other people and throw them with ready-made and canned charges, and insulting the core of his belief.

Among these opposing voices, there are two opinions of two presidents who have unveiled Macron’s faltering arguments, namely: former President François Hollande and President Jacques Chirac, who ruled France for 12 consecutive years, and has drawn in its policy features.

François Hollande, who finished his ruling period in 2017, has expressed, openly and frankly, that "we should not confuse terrorists with Muslims, because this would be a mistake that would lead us to enter into a conflict between religions, and this is the conflict that we do not want.”

** There is no room for an interpreter or talks

Actually, Jacques Chirac, who died last year, has a statement that is still valid to respond to Macron.

Firstly, because this response came in the form of an official statement about "Chirac" when he was president of France. Secondly, "Chirac" statement discussed the same situation Macron is facing at the present time, which is the issue of slanderous drawings, to prove that "Macron" is dealing with it in a way that represents an inverse understanding, and even a revolution against the values ​​of the Republic.

In 2006, while "Chirac" was in power, a severe crisis arose similar to the current situation, when a French weekly newspaper (the same current newspaper) set out to publish defamatory pictures of the Prophet Muhammad, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and it was met with widespread anger among the Muslim peoples scattered in various parts of the world.

At that time, "Chirac" chose to speak in a very rational voice and with clear and direct words, indicating to the French people the meaning  of the "values ​​of the republic".

Chirac’s statement, which is still paradoxically according to what was confirmed by Zaman Al Wasl, is on the Elysee website, in which the president says: “A statement from Jacques Chirac, President of the Republic, regarding freedom of the press and respect for religious beliefs, against the background of the issue of cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad 8 February 2006:

“With regard to the issue of cartoons and reactions in the Islamic world, I would remind you that if freedom of expression is one of the foundations of the republic, it is also based on the approach of tolerance and respect for all beliefs.” he said. “Anything that could harm the beliefs of others, especially religious beliefs, should be avoided. Freedom of expression must be exercised with responsibility. I condemn all outrageous and outrageous provocations that seriously inflame emotions.” 

He also added: “I also condemn all acts of violence committed against citizens or our representatives abroad, anywhere in the world, and I remind that, in accordance with international law, governments are responsible for the safety of foreign persons and property on their territory.” “Moreover, I ask the (French) government to be particularly vigilant about the security of our citizens abroad. "”

The "Chirac statement" is an official document included in the archives of the "Elysee", and it is also issued by the highest authority in the country, and is concerned with the same issue and the same newspaper, leaving no room for interpreters or sayers, that the ruling should differ according to the case.

*Hidden refutation
Those who are upset about Macron’s positions nowadays infer Chirac’s statement, and even see that if the man was alive, he would not have been late in responding to the current president, and he would not have hesitated to make the same statement, which condemns the assault on the beliefs of others, and controls freedom of expression with tolerance and care not to offend And spread a spirit of hatred and discrimination.

Macron bypassed all these values and stepped on "republican values."

There are "hidden" refutations in which the current members of the government try to send messages saying that they are not completely in agreement with what the head of state says and does.

In his speech on clarifying the instructions and foundations of the second wave of quarantine in the country, and although the speech coincided with the attack of "Nice", which was carried out by a Tunisian immigrant, which killed 3 people, the Prime Minister, "Jean Castex", did not mention in all his speech the word Islam or Muslims, although the opening of the speech was an explicit condemnation of the terrorist attack in Nice.

The prime minister avoided the word Islam or Islamic. It was intended and its clear that he wanted to avoid Macron’s line that pours fuel on the fire, and insists on describing terrorism as "Islamic", despite the fact that the Muslims of France and their associations denounce and repudiate for decades any violent act that harms the innocent, and gives opportunity for trolls in order to further distort the image of Islam.

* An implicit apology
 Castex was not the only one from the French government who opposed Macron. Foreign Minister Jeff Yves Le Drian, who sent a "message of peace to the Islamic world," affirming that his country is guided by a culture of "tolerance" and not a culture of "contempt and rejection."

Le Drian's message was remarkable in its timing, place and content. It came on the same day as the Nice attack. It was received by the Minister of Foreign Affairs during his speech in Parliament, meaning that it came as an official directive that defines and limits the lines of dealing with the issue, and it was not just a passing statement.

As for the words of the statement, they were "selective phrases." Its aim is to move away from "Macron's" escalatory approach and to present an implicit message of apology for the past to the French president regarding the issue of the defamatory charges and their repercussions, and regarding the stigmatization of terrorism as "Islamic".

Le Drian affirmed before the members of Parliament that “Islamic religion and culture are part of our French and European history, and we respect Islam,” stressing elsewhere that “Muslims automatically belong to our national community,” and that their freedom to practice their rituals is guaranteed.

By Ethar Abdulhaq

Zaman Al Wasl
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