ISLAMABAD: Pakistan said on Thursday it ‘strongly’ condemned the incident of a knife-wielding Tunisian man beheading a woman and killing two other people in a church in the French city of Nice.
Thursday’s attacks, on the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), came at a time of growing Muslim anger at France’s defense of the right to publish cartoons depicting the prophet (pbuh), and protesters have denounced France in street rallies in several Muslim-majority countries, including Pakistan.
The Nice attack also comes just under two weeks after a middle-school teacher in a Paris suburb was beheaded by an 18-year-old attacker who was apparently incensed by the teacher showing a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) in class.
“Pakistan strongly condemns the attack that was carried out inside a church in Nice, France, today,” the foreign office said. “There is no justification for such acts of violence, in particular in places of worship.”
Pakistan’s parliament this week passed a resolution urging the government to recall its envoy from Paris over the publication of images of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) in France, accusing President Emmanuel Macron of “hate-mongering” against Muslims.
The resolution came hours after the French ambassador in Islamabad was summoned to the foreign office for Pakistan to register its protest.
French President Macron had paid tribute to the French history teacher who was beheaded for showing cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and called him a hero and said that Islamists were a threat to the country.
On Sunday Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan took aim at Macron, saying he had attacked Islam by encouraging the display of cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Khan also wrote to Facebook asking it to block blasphemous content.