French President Emmanuel Macron said that he did not intend to offend Islam and Muslims, and that he distinguished between terrorism and extremism on the one hand, and Muslims and Islam on the other.
Macron made a phone call to his Palestinian counterpart, Mahmoud Abbas, in which he affirmed his respect for Islam and the Islamic world.
Macron stressed, according to a statement by the Palestinian Presidency, that he “did not intend to offend Islam and Muslims, and that he distinguishes between terrorism and extremism on the one hand, and Muslims and Islam on the other.”
Earlier this month, Macron defended secularism and freedom of expression in France, and said Islam was suffering a crisis, after a French high school teacher was decapitated for displaying comics of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him and his progeny, in class. His comments prompted a wave of protests and criticism from the Muslim world.