26 October, 2020
The Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s remarks suggesting that French President Emmanuel Macron needed a “mental health check” over his rhetoric on Islam and Muslims was condemned by German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas
Maas said on Monday that Erdogan’s personal attacks against Macron “mark a new low” and are “unacceptable,”.
The minister said that Berlin stands in solidarity with France on the issue of fighting terrorism and Islamic extremism. At the same time, Maas cautioned against conflating the “millions of law-abiding Muslims living in Europe” with “violent extremists and murderers.”
“It would be playing into the hands of those who want to divide our society. We will not accept that,” Maas stated.
According to Macron, Islam has been “in crisis” globally due to the rise of fundamentalists.
This rhetoric of Macron on Islam was then bolstered by the brutal murder of middle school teacher Samuel Paty who had shown students a cartoon of Prophet Mohammed as part of a lesson on freedom of expression.
Tayyip Erdogan suggested on Saturday that the French leader needs to have his mental health examined. Paris responded by blasting Erdogan’s remarks as “unacceptable” and recalling its envoy to Turkey for consultations. Macron tweets in French, English and Arabic that France respects “all differences in a spirit of peace,” but does not accept hate speech and defends “reasonable debate.”
Germany “fully understands” the French diplomatic response to Turkey and “we fully support them.” Maas said while speaking to a reporter.