Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani warned on Wednesday that insulting the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) will only encourage “violence and bloodshed” following Paris’ defense of the publication of cartoons depicting the holy Prophet.
“Insulting the prophet is no achievement. It’s immoral. It’s encouraging violence,” Rouhani said in a televised speech during the weekly cabinet meeting.
“It’s a surprise that this would come from those claiming culture and democracy, that they would somehow, even if unintentionally, encourage violence and bloodshed,” he added.
French President Emmanuel Macron has strongly defended what he called “secular values and the right to mock religion”.
Macron’s comments triggered protests and a call to boycott French goods in some Muslim-majority countries.
Rouhani said that “the West should understand that … insulting the Prophet is insulting all Muslims, all prophets, all human values, and trampling ethics”.
He added that “every single European is in debt to the Prophet, as he was the teacher of humanity”.
Rouhani also called on the West to “stop interfering in Muslims’ internal affairs” if it “truly seeks to achieve peace, equality, calm and security in today’s societies”.
Iran on Tuesday summoned a senior French envoy, the charge d’affaires, to protest the “unacceptable behavior of the French authorities”.