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ISLAM

Al-Jazeera ‘won’t air’ French killer’s videos

Al-Jazeera news channel said on Tuesday it has decided not to air a video shot by an Islamist extremist of shootings in southwest France that it had received by mail.

Al-Jazeera 'won't air' French killer's videos

“In accordance with Al-Jazeera’s code of ethics, given the video does not add any information that is not already in the public domain, its news channels will not be broadcasting any of its contents,” the Doha-based network said.

The pan-Arab channel that earned initial fame after airing recordings of Al-Qaeda’s late chief, Osama bin Laden, said it has declined “numerous requests from media outlets for copies of the video.”

French police said on Monday they had copies of the videos, shot by Mohamed Merah during a series of killings that left seven dead, that had been sent on a USB memory stick to Al-Jazeera’s office in Paris.

Merah, a 23-year-old Frenchman of Algerian descent, had previously boasted of filming his killings and witnesses had told police that he appeared to be wearing a video camera in a chest harness.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy, in mid-campaign for re-election, urged television networks Tuesday not to broadcast the video.

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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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