A Sudanese artist has refused a French award in protest over the publication of blasphemous caricatures of Prophet Muhammad and the French president’s recent anti-Islam remarks.
Artist Kamala Ibrahim Ishaq will not accept the French Republic’s Medal of Arts and Letters following the issue of the cartoons insulting the Prophet Muhammad, read a report by Sudan News Agency on Wednesday.
Ibrahim’s stance was also a “response towards the statements of French President Emmanuel Macron in which he said that the drawings will continue,” it added.
Ibrahim, born in 1939 and one of Sudan’s most prominent fine artists, was to be awarded the French Medal of Arts and Letters on Nov. 2 at the French Cultural Institute in Khartoum.
In recent weeks, President Macron has drawn widespread criticism for his attacks on Islam and the Muslim community.
Earlier this month, he announced a controversial plan to tackle what he calls “Islamic separatism” in France, describing Islam as “a religion in crisis all over the world.”
Charlie Hebdo, a French satirical magazine infamous for printing anti-Islamic caricatures, republished cartoons insulting Islam and Prophet Muhammad earlier this year.
Macron has defended the blasphemous caricatures, saying France would “not give up our cartoons” after the brutal murder of Samuel Paty, a teacher who was beheaded in a Paris suburb after showing the cartoons in class during a discussion on freedom of speech.
A wave of anger and anti-France protests has swept across the Islamic world and campaigns have been launched in some countries to boycott French products.
* Bassel Barakat contributed to this report from Ankara
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