Pakistan's minister for human rights has accused Emmanuel Macron of treating his country's Muslim population like Jews in Nazi Germany, after the French president called for new measures to crack down on Islamic extremism, RT reported Sunday.
Minister Shireen Mazari did not hold back with her criticisms of Macron's insistence that Muslim leaders in France agree to a "charter of republican values," among other policies aimed at discouraging 'radicalism'.
"Macron is doing to Muslims what the Nazis did to the Jews - Muslim children will get ID numbers (other children won't) just as Jews were forced to wear the yellow star on their clothing for identification," the Pakistani minister wrote Saturday.
Without mentioning Mazari by name, the French foreign ministry later issued a statement rebuking Shireen Mazari for using social media to spread "deeply shocking and insulting remarks" about Macron that contained "blatant lies." The ministry demanded that the Pakistani government "rectify" the incendiary comments.
The French Embassy in Pakistan was more direct, responding to Mazari's tweet by saying: "Fake news and false accusation."
The Pakistani Minister later deleted her tweet, saying that Macron's law applies to all children. However, the fact remains that the primary target of the controversial law will be the Muslim population in France, which is the largest Muslim community in Europe.
Under legislation submitted by Macron, each child in France would be given an identification number that would be used to ensure that they are attending school. Parents who keep their children at home could face fines and even jail time.
The proposed law is part of a larger package of new measures and bills put forward by the French president this week.
In September, President Emmanuel Macron had already set out plans to tackle what he called the "Islamist separatism" in poor French neighborhoods, citing claims of children from Muslim families being taken out of school, and sporting and cultural associations being used to what he called indoctrinate youth.
"We must save our children from the clutches of the Islamists," interior minister Ge'rald Darmanin told Le Figaro newspaper on Wednesday. The legislation would ban homeschooling from the age of three.
On Wednesday, the French president took steps to impose a "charter of republican values" on the Muslim community and gave a 15-day deadline to the French Council of the Muslim Faith (CFCM) to accept the charter.
Eight leaders of the CFCM met with Macron and Interior Minister Ge'rald Darmanin at the Élyse'e palace for talks on Wednesday.
The CFCM agreed to create a National Council of Imams, which will offer official accreditation to imams living on French soil that could be withdrawn in case of violations, the BBC reported
Macron's charter will state that Islam is a religion and not a political movement, and will prohibit "foreign interference" in Muslim groups.
The French government also unveiled a wide-ranging bill aimed at what it called preventing radicalization. It includes measures such as restrictions on home-schooling and giving children an identification number under the law that would be used to ensure they are attending school. Parents who break the law could face up to six months in jail as well as hefty fines, according to the BBC.
Mazari isn't the only public figure to denounce the French leader's latest initiatives. British Labour MP Zarah Sultana said she was concerned about the "frightening direction" of Macron's government, stating that "we must condemn Islamophobia & all forms of racism."
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