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ISLAM

French police probe Facebook call to cut Muslim throats

French police were on Friday trying to identify a Facebook user who urged people "to cut Muslims's throats instead of sheep" during the Eid al-Adha feast, sparking the ire of Muslim and anti-racist groups.

“Police are carrying out an investigation to identify the author of these unworthy declarations,” police said in a statement, adding that the Facebook “wall” page in question had already been taken down. 

Following the posting, the French Muslim Council (CFCM) contacted police and the French anti-Islamophobia Collective (CCIF) contacted the social networking site to have the page removed.  

The offending statement called on the world to mark the Feast of Sacrifice, known as Eid al-Adha, on November 6 by “cutting Muslim throats instead of sheep”.  

“We will finally have a good reason to celebrate,” it said.  

Muslims mark the end of the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca by sacrificing an animal, often a sheep, in remembrance of Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son for God.  

“This is a lamentable call to murder that could bring about a new Oslo,” Abdallah Zekri of the CFCM told AFP, referring to July’s massacre in Norway carried out by Islamophobe Anders Behring Breivik.  

Zekri noted what he said was a rise in Islamophobia in France since President Nicolas Sarkozy’s right-wing UMP party started a controversial public debate on French identity, Islam and immigration.  

“Today it is easy to attack Muslims with impunity,” Zekri said.

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ISLAM

Erdogan calls French separatism bill ‘guillotine’ of democracy

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday denounced a planned French law designed to counter "Islamist separatism" as a "guillotine" of democracy.

Erdogan calls French separatism bill 'guillotine' of democracy
Erdogan has already denounced the proposed measures as "anti-Muslim". Photo: Adem ALTAN/AFP

The draft legislation has been criticised both inside France and abroad for stigmatising Muslims and giving the state new powers to limit speech and religious groups.

“The adoption of this law, which is openly in contradiction of human rights, freedom of religion and European values, will be a guillotine blow inflicted on French democracy,” said Erdogan in a speech in Ankara.

The current version of the planned law would only serve the cause of extremism, putting NGOs under pressure and “forcing young people to choose between their beliefs and their education”, he added.

READ ALSO: What’s in France’s new law to crack down on Islamist extremism?

“We call on the French authorities, and first of all President (Emmanuel) Macron, to act sensibly,” he continued. “We expect a rapid withdrawal of this bill.”

Erdogan also said he was ready to work with France on security issues and integration, but relations between the two leaders have been strained for some time.

France’s government is in the process of passing new legislation to crack down on what it has termed “Islamist separatism”, which would give the state more power to vet and disband religious groups judged to be threats to the nation.

Erdogan has already denounced the proposed measures as “anti-Muslim”.

READ ALSO: Has Macron succeeded in creating an ‘Islam for France’?

Last October, Erdogan questioned Macron’s “mental health”, accusing him of waging a “campaign of hatred” against Islam, after the French president defended the right of cartoonists to caricature the prophet Mohammed.

The two countries are also at odds on a number of other issues, including Libya, Syria and the eastern Mediterranean.

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