The double standards of western states have directly contributed to the rise of Islamophobia to alarming levels.

In European countries, while anti-Semitism is considered a crime, insulting Islam is allowed under the guise of freedom of expression.

Experts call for a distinction between freedom of expression and hate speech against all religions, including Islam, and for laws that criminalize anti-Islamism.

“While anti-Semitism is banned, I cannot understand that Islamophobia is considered freedom of opinion,” Amr Moussa, a former Arab League Secretary-General, said on Facebook.

Moussa urged constitutional and legal institutions in countries where Muslims are exposed to discrimination, maltreatment and double standards to immediately fight against injustice and to criminalize insulting Islamic religion and values.

Ali Bakir, a Lebanese researcher and journalist, told Anadolu Agency that the West, especially France, has double standards when it comes to Muslims.

Bakir said: “Any criticism against Israel is considered anti-Semitism and is not seen within the freedom of expression, the critic is judged.”

He said: “If the West were honest, instead of undermining Muslims on the pretext of freedom of expression, they would act consistently and enact laws to protect them by defending the same freedom against all religions and beliefs.”

He added that such laws will prevent the rise of Islamophobia in Europe and prevent politicians from using this issue as election material.

Last month, French President Emmanuel Macron accused French Muslims of “separatism,” and described Islam as a “religion in crisis.”

Macron’s attitude against Islam, the republication of caricatures insulting Prophet Muhammad and their projection on buildings have triggered boycotts of French products in several countries, including Qatar, Kuwait, Algeria, Sudan, Palestine, and Morocco.

*Writing by Gozde Bayar in Ankara

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