Muslims should not react violently to caricatures of Islamic prophet Muhammad even if they disapprove of them, Hassen Chalghoumi, Imam of the Drancy mosque in a Paris suburb, told Sputnik, adding that he supports a law proposed by French President Emmanuel Macron to fight "Islamist separatism."
MOSCOW (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 29th October, 2020) Muslims should not react violently to caricatures of Islamic prophet Muhammad even if they disapprove of them, Hassen Chalghoumi, Imam of the Drancy mosque in a Paris suburb, told Sputnik, adding that he supports a law proposed by French President Emmanuel Macron to fight "Islamist separatism."
France is experiencing national dismay in the wake of an increasing Islamic threat following the brutal murder of French history teacher Samuel Paty by beheading at the hands of a radicalized Chechen teenager in mid-October. The motive for the killing was the use of caricatures of Islamic prophet Mohammad by Paty to teach his students freedom of speech.
On Thursday, another terrorist incident shocked France an attacker armed with a knife killed two people by beheading and fatally stabbed another person. The French leader has vowed that the government would step up efforts to curb Islamic radicalism in the country.
"[After Paty's murder], we prayed for all the victims. At the same time, we remember that our religion and our prophet teach us not hate, but love ... Maybe some [believers] are against cartoons, they do not like that their prophet is being painted. But you should never react violently. [Actions] must be through freedom, through drawing, through love, and not through hatred," Chalghoumi told Sputnik.
The Imam also recalled that prayer occurred after Paty's murder in which many people of different faiths gathered. The cleric wished that "such a spirit" of unity would spread across France and throughout the world. Chalghoumi added that "Islam has nothing in common with Islamism" and voiced his support towards a proposed law against "Islamist separatism."
"Laws and [other] necessary things are needed to eradicate Islamism and hatred. These people who generate hatred should not be heard. We need to shut down internet sites, expel people [who spread] hatred. I approve, we approve [this bill]," Chalghoumi said.
Chalghoumi called on the government and large tech companies like Google and Facebook to "locate and punish people" who call for violence. He added that the majority of the Muslim population is suffering because of the minority.
When asked about French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin's statements about the prosecution of several dozen people who belong to the Islamist movement, the Imam said such threats should be directed at terrorists.
"Citizens are scared. He [the minister] said, that 'the fear should go on the other side' Yes, it's time for Islamists and terrorists to fear. And not imams like me, who pray in a bulletproof vest surrounded by the police. The situation needs to change," Chalghoumi said.
In addition, the Imam said that the authorities made "a necessary decision" when several schools and places that "deserved to be closed" were shut down.
In conclusion, Chalghoumi said that French Muslims want "this nightmare" to be over and to live in peace.