Sep 12, 2020, 11:55 PM
Journalist ID: 3080
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Iran slams French-style freedom of expression

Tehran, Sept 12, IRNA - Iran's high-ranking officials have unanimously condemned the republishing caricatures of the Prophet Mohammad [PBUH] of the ill-reputed French magazine Charlie Hebdo.

The dark deed of France's Charlie Hebdo to republish the sacrilege caricature of the Great Prophet of Islam under the guise of freedom of expression violated the international law and hurt the sentiments of Muslims, a typical example of the violation of human rights.

Charlie Hebdo had published the caricatures of Holy Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) for the second time recently after it had published them in 2015 – a move whose justifications have been freedom of speech, while according to the international law, insulting other people’s beliefs is by no means freedom of speech.

Charlie Hebdo’s move caused a wave of reactions by high-ranking Iranian officials during the week.

Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei in a message condemned the French magazine Charlie Hebdo's sacrilege of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH).

The French magazine's unforgivable sin of insulting Prophet Mohammad once again revealed the depth of hostility, the sinister attitudes, and hatred of the West's political and cultural system towards Islam and the Islamic society, the Supreme Leader stated.

The excuse for not condemning this big sin by some French politicians is unacceptable and is regarded as a false and populist act, he added.

Ayatollah Khamenei noted that the profoundly anti-Islam policies of Zionists and arrogant governments are the root cause of such hostile acts.

This movement serves to divert Western Asian governments and people's opinions from the sinister plot hatched by the US and the Zionist regime of Israel in the region, the Supreme Leader said.

Ayatollah Khamenei emphasized that all Muslim nations, especially in West Asia, should be vigilant towards issues relevant to this sensitive region and urged them not to forget hostilities of Western politicians against Islam and Muslims.

Spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Saeed Khatibzadeh strongly condemned French magazine, Charlie Hebdo, for the republication of an offensive cartoon to Prophet Mohammad (PBUH).

Khatibzadeh said any irreverence to Prophet Mohammad or other prophets is totally unacceptable.

He said that the “provocative” move, made in the name of freedom of speech, hurt the feelings of monotheists of the world, and also disrespected Islamic values and the beliefs of more than one billion Muslims.

Contrary to the disrespectful move made by this magazine, freedom of speech is a high value that should be constructively used in line with the peaceful coexistence of humankind and encouraging further understating among religions.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani called for defending Islam and Iranian interests; and aligning with religious values.

In today's critical conditions, "we should well defend our values", President Rouhani said while referring to French magazine Charlie Hebdo's move to desecrate Great Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

The president appreciated the Iranian nation for being sensitive to important events, including a move to insult the Prophet, a plot hatched by the Zionist regime of Israel against the oppressed Palestinians, and hypocritical actions against the Islamic culture.

By showing their sensitivity, the nation indicates that they have still remained as a supporter of the oppressed people across the world, the president noted.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in a message slammed the West's double standards and raised the question of whether it is freedom of expression or institutionalized hypocrisy.

"Freedom of Expression? Or Institutionalized Hypocrisy? Instigate violence and hatred against 1.8 Billion Muslims by stereotypical defamation and desecration of their Holy Book and Prophet Touch party line about events in recent history—repugnant as they are Enough already," Zarif wrote on his Twitter account in reaction to insults made by a French weekly against the Holy Prophet of Islam (PBUH).

Culture and Islamic Guidance Minister Abbas Salehi condemned the French magazine Charlie Hebdo for republishing offensive caricatures of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), saying that insulting His Holiness is not freedom of expression; rather it is whipping the body and soul of Muslims.

"Do not play with the gunpowder depot," Salehi tweeted, adding that the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) is not a person or a religious leader, He is the identity of one and a half billion people.

Chairman of National Security and Foreign Policy Commission of the Iranian Parliament Mojtaba Zolnouri in a meeting with French Ambassador to Iran Philippe Thiébaud slammed insulting Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) and other prophets, saying such a measure on the pretext of freedom of speech hurt Muslims’ feelings.

Charlie Hebdo is a French left-wing magazine with a history of publishing derogatory and anti-religious content. It had published caricatures of Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in 2012 and 2015 that provoked Muslims to start demonstrations around the globe.

Compiled by Amin Mohammadzadegan Khoyi

Edited by Hamid Shamlou

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