Saudi rejects attempts to link Islam with terrorism


Saudi Arabia has rejected the attempts to link Islam with terrorism.

The Saudi authorities also condemned the offensive cartoons of the Prophet amid an escalating row between France and some Muslim-majority nations over Paris’s support for the right to caricature the Prophet.

According to a Saudi foreign ministry official, its government also called for “intellectual and cultural freedom to be a beacon of respect, tolerance and peace that rejects practices and acts which generate hatred, violence and extremism and are contrary to the values of coexistence.

The official added that Riyadh condemned all acts of terrorism regardless of the perpetrators, in an apparent reference to the beheading of a teacher in Paris this month by a Muslim man angered by the use of caricatures of the Prophet in a class on free speech.

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called for a boycott of French goods, and Pakistan’s parliament passed a resolution urging the government to recall its envoy from Paris.

Protests have been held in Iraq, Turkey and the Gaza Strip, with demonstrators in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, burning the French flag and stepping on images of French President Emmanuel Macron.

In Saudi Arabia, calls for a boycott of French supermarket chain Carrefour were trending on social media, though a company representative in France told Reuters news agency it had yet to feel any impact.

On Monday, Erdogan again lambasted his French counterpart, saying for a third time that Macron needed a mental health check – a rebuke that caused France to recall its ambassador from Ankara over the weekend.

The Turkish president also urged European leaders to halt what he called Macron’s “anti-Islam” agenda.

“European leaders with foresight and morals must break down the walls of fear,” Erdogan said in a speech at the start of a week of celebrations in Turkey to commemorate the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad.

“They must put an end to the anti-Islam agenda and hate campaign that Macron is leading.”

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