Sheikh Mohamed condemns violence in France in call with Emmanuel Macron

Abu Dhabi Crown Prince says Prophet Mohammed is a sacred figure in Islam and should not be linked to violence or politicisation

PARIS, FRANCE -November 21, 2018: HH Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces (R) is received by HE Emmanuel Macron, President of France (L), commencing a business visit.

( Mohamed Al Hammadi / Ministry of Presidential Affairs )
Powered by automated translation

Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, condemned the recent attacks in France during a phone call with President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday.

Sheikh Mohamed offered his condolences to Mr Macron and the families of those who were killed. He wished the injured a speedy recovery.

"These violent atrocities are inconsistent with the teachings and principles of all monotheistic religions that call for peace, tolerance and love and emphasise the sanctity of human life," said Sheikh Mohamed.

He reiterated his rejection of hate speech and said it divided people of different nationalities and faiths and only served those with extremist ideas. Sheikh Mohamed also rejected any justification that may be used to excuse such criminal acts of violence and terrorism, reported state news agency Wam.

He said the Prophet Mohammed is a sacred figure to all Muslims and should not be politicised or linked to violence.

He called for peaceful and respectful dialogue between individuals of different backgrounds, citing the UAE as an example of an Arab Muslim country with proud values of coexistence, tolerance and co-operation among its diverse population.

The leaders spoke after a priest was shot twice and days after three people were killed in a terrorist attack at a church in France.

Mr Macron has sent thousands of soldiers to protect sites such as places of worship and schools after a surge of violence across France.

A spate of attacks has taken place after the murder of teacher Samuel Paty, who showed pupils cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed – a prohibited act in Islam – as part of a lesson on free speech.

Mr Macron, who has vowed to stamp out radical Islamism in his country, sought to quell some of the anger directed at France on Saturday by saying he could understand how Muslims might be shocked by the cartoons.

Since Paty's killing, French officials have asserted the right to display the cartoons, and the images have been shown at marches staged in solidarity with the dead teacher.

This prompted an outpouring of anger in parts of the Muslim world, with some governments accusing Mr Macron of pursuing an anti-Islam agenda.

During their call Sheikh Mohamed and Mr Macron also discussed developments in the Middle East and Eastern Mediterranean, emphasising regional security and stability and non-interference in the internal affairs of sovereign states.

Sheikh Mohamed spoke of the strong ties between France and the UAE. The leaders voiced their support for efforts or initiatives that would help reach political settlements in the region's conflicts.

They also reviewed the latest developments to combat coronavirus in their countries and around the world, saying it was important for nations to co-operate to overcome the deadly virus.