KARACHI, Pakistan

Pakistan on Monday said it will summon the French ambassador to lodge a protest over republication of blasphemous caricatures, and “irresponsible” statements of French President Emmanuel Macron agains Islam.

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said in a statement that Macron’s remarks have fueled the already tense situation.

Qureshi said Islamabad, through a resolution, would suggest at the forthcoming Foreign Ministers’ meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to observe March 15 as an annual day against Islamophobia.

“Nobody has the right to hurt the feelings of millions of Muslims in the garb of freedom of speech,” he said, urging the UN to take note of the ongoing “hateful narrative” against Islam.

Earlier this month, Macron described Islam as a religion “in crisis,” and announced plans for tougher laws to tackle what he called “Islamist separatism” in France.

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

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

Many countries have also called for a boycott of French products.

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