Emmanuel Macron has defended the right of publishers to depict caricatures of the prophet Muhammad in France. ‘I will never accept that someone can justify the use of physical violence because of these cartoons,’ Macron said.
On 16 October, a history teacher, Samuel Paty, was beheaded outside his school near Paris after showing pupils two caricatures of Muhammad as part of a discussion about free speech.
The French president sought to calm anti-French protests in Islamic countries after the reprinting of the Charlie Hebdo cartoons in an interview with Al Jazeera. Macron said he ‘understands the feelings of Muslims about the caricatures’. But he said it was not his role as president to restrict freedom of expression when it caused offence