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Thursday, October 28, 2021

Qatar condemns attacks in Saudi Arabia, France


Qatar condemns the stabbing attack that took place in France as well as an assault on the French embassy in the Saudi Arabia’s Jeddah, as tensions continue to mount.

Qatar expressed strong condemnation of an attack on the French embassy in Jeddah on Thursday, just moments after an earlier Ministry of Foreign Affairs statement slammed a similar assault in a church in the French city of Nice.

“Doha renewed its firm position of rejecting violence and terrorism regardless of the motives and reasons,” the statement said.

A security guard was injured in Jeddah, the statement confirmed.

In Nice, the attack on a church resulted in three deaths and several injuries. Among the victims was an elderly woman who was “virtually beheaded,” according to officials. Shortly after, an armed attacker was wounded and taken into custody by authorities after a confrontation with police outside Nice’s Notre Dame Church. 

Responding to the incident on Thursday, French President Emmanuel Macron said: “If we are attacked once again it is for the values which are ours: freedom, for the possibility on our soil to believe freely and not to give in to any spirit of terror”. 

“I say it with great clarity once again today: we won’t surrender anything,” he added.

Read also: French fascist leader Marine Le Pen takes aim at Qatar for #BoycottFrance movement

Though authorities did not release any information about the suspect’s ethnicity, background, or religious affiliation, Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi said the suspect had “repeated endlessly ‘Allahu Akbar’ (God is greatest),” according to the BBC.

“He cried ‘Allah Akbar!’ over and over, even after he was injured,” Estrosi said, referring to the attacker. “The meaning of his gesture left no doubt.”

Shortly after the incident in Nice, Macron said 7,000 troops will be sent to protect schools and religious sites, a move that was questioned by watchers who said the same swift response was not extended to the Muslim community after several Islamophobic attacks in the country this week.

The latest developments comes amid rising tension between France and the Muslim world after the killing of a teacher who showed his class caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad, leading to global uproar.

French authorities responded with a large-scale crackdown on Islamic entities in the country, raiding more than 50 mosques and associations.

The French magazine at the centre of the cartoon controversy, Charlie Hebdo, republished the offensive caricatures of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad and Macron affirmed his country would “not give up cartoons.” He has also refused to condemn the magazine’s decision, vowing measures against what he called “Islamic separatism.”

Earlier, Macron sparked outrage for describing Islam as a religion “in crisis” worldwide.

As a response, Muslims around the world launched a virtual campaign to condemn France’s Islamophobia, calling for a boycott of French products. Protesters have also taken to the streets in capitals around the world to denounce the ongoing provocation.

Just days later, France called on leaders in the Arab and Muslim world to stop “baseless” calls for boycott in their countries.

Read also: The bumbling Macron and delusions of ‘grandeur’ France

The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the second-largest inter-governmental body after the United Nations, slammed France’s anti-Muslim rhetoric.

“We condemn the constant systematic attack on the feelings of Muslims by insulting the religious symbols represented by the person of the Prophet Muhammad,” an OIC statement read.

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