PARIS – France on Saturday condemned a tweet from Pakistan’s human rights minister comparing President Emmanuel Macron’s treatment of Muslims to the way Jews were treated by Nazis in World War II.
As tensions continue to simmer between the European nation and the Islamic world, Shireen Mazari, a former journalist and an active member of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s team, wrote that “Macron does to Muslims what the Nazis did to the Jews.”
She added: “Muslim children are given ID numbers (other children are not), just as Jews were forced to wear the yellow star on their clothes for identification.”
During her speech, she shared an article claiming that Muslim children would be singled out by a new French bill that would give them an identification number to ensure they go to school, part of the country’s comprehensive efforts to prevent radicalization of young. The legislation was proposed because some families do not send their children to school in France.
If introduced, however, the bill would apply to all French children.
Download the NBC News app for news and politics
French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin defended the plan earlier this week in an interview with French newspaper Le Figaro. “We must save these children from the Islamists,” he said.
Mazari’s tweet was condemned by France’s foreign ministry, which in a statement on Saturday said the minister was speaking in “deeply shocking and insulting terms” over Macron and all of France.
“These hateful words are blatant lies, imbued with an ideology of hatred and violence,” it said. “Such slander is unworthy of this level of responsibility. We reject them with the utmost firmness. ”
Mazari later deleted the tweet.
Takes to Twitter again Sunday and wrote that she had been contacted by the French envoy to Pakistan who sent her a message that the article she had shared along with her comment has been corrected so she decided to remove her tweet.
A wave of protests swept through Pakistan and a number of other predominantly Muslim countries over Macron’s stance after last month’s religiously motivated attack, which saw a teacher beheaded on the streets of Paris and three people killed in a church in Nice.
Some burned images of the French president, while others shouted “France’s death” and called for a boycott of French products.
The protests came after Macron promised to fight “Islamist separatism”, which he said threatened to take control of some Muslim communities around France.
His comments were also condemned by a number of Muslim political leaders, including Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, who last month said Macron had “attacked Islam” and “harmed the feelings of millions of Muslims in Europe and around the world.”
Nancy Ing reported from Paris, Mushtaq Yusufzai from Peshawar and Yuliya Talmazan from London.
Reuters contributed to this report.
Mushtaq Yusufzai the contribution.