France Warns Citizens of Danger in Muslim Countries
France is warning its citizens to take extra security steps in several Muslim countries in response to a wave of anger in the Muslim world over French cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad. The French Foreign Ministry, in a statement, advised its citizens in Indonesia, Mauritania, Bangladesh and Iraq “to exercise the greatest vigilance, especially while traveling, and in places that are frequented by tourists or expatriate communities.” The French Embassy in Turkey issued a similar advisory warning to its citizens. In diplomatic saber-rattling, Paris has recalled its ambassador in Ankara and French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin today said that Turkey and Pakistan should not meddle in France’s domestic affairs. On Monday, Pakistan’s parliament passed a resolution calling on the government to recall its ambassador from Paris. Iran also reacted to the French cartoon situation by summoning France’s chargé d’affaires and stating to the diplomat its strong rejection of “any insult and disrespect to the Prophet of Islam,” a source stated. The international incident has its roots in an October 16 fatal knife attack outside of Paris when a Russian-born refugee of Chechen descent beheaded a schoolteacher for showing students in a civics lesson cartoons that Muslims consider to be blasphemous.