Iran’s foreign minister on Monday joined the chorus of condemnations of recent insulting statements by French officials against Islam and the Prophet Muhammad.

“Muslims are the primary victims of the ‘cult of hatred’ empowered by colonial regimes and exported by their own clients,” Javad Zarif said on Twitter.

Underlining that incitement against Islam only fuels extremism, Zarif said: “Insulting 1.9B Muslims – & their sanctities – for the abhorrent crimes of such extremists is an opportunistic abuse of freedom of speech”.

Over the past few days, France has witnessed the posting of insulting pictures and drawings of the Prophet Muhammad on the facades of some buildings in the country.

Besides the provocative cartoons, earlier this month, President Macron branded Islam a religion “in crisis” and announced plans for tougher laws to tackle what he called “Islamist separatism” in France.

French Muslims have accused him of trying to repress their religion and legitimize Islamophobia.

Several Arab countries as well as Turkey and Pakistan have also condemned Macron’s attitude toward Muslims and Islam, with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan saying the French leader needs a “mental health check.”

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