ERBIL, Iraq

Facing a backlash, the Paris representation of the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) in northern Iraq removed a message of support for France, under fire for its recent anti-Islamic statements.

On Monday, the representation posted on Twitter a photo of the French and KRG flags side by side, saying in English, French, and Kurdish: “We are stronger together.”

But many Iraqi Kurds on social media decried the message.

A total of 25 parliamentarians from various parties in the KRG issued a statement Monday condemning the anti-Islamic statements of French President Emmanuel Macron.

A declaration signed by MPs was delivered to the French Consulate in Erbil.

Macron has sparked outrage across the Muslim world by accusing French Muslims of “separatism” and describing Islam as “a religion in crisis.”

He condemned the murder of a French teacher who showed controversial cartoons depicting Prophet Muhammad in class, but said France would “not give up our cartoons.”

Several Arab countries, as well as Turkey, Iran, and Pakistan, have condemned Macron’s attitude toward Muslims and Islam, with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan saying on Sunday that the French leader needs “mental treatment.”

Amid calls for a boycott of French products in many countries, Erdogan has urged Turks “to never help French brands or buy them.”

*Writing by Zehra Nur Duz

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