Egypt Urges Respect as French Debate on Islam Stirs Anger

Egypt’s president waded into the uproar sparked by his French counterpart’s description of Islam as a religion “in crisis,” stressing that freedoms shouldn’t ride roughshod over others’ feelings.

In comments on Wednesday marking the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad, President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi said Muslims shouldn’t be grouped with extremists in popular debate, and that perceived insults against religion weren’t a justification for violence.

Anger has mounted in the Middle East over Emmanuel Macron’s description of Islam, with the furor fed by a crackdown on Islamists following the beheading of a French teacher.

El-Sisi, who has spearheaded a yearslong crackdown on Islamists and their supporters in Egypt, called on those involved to take a step back and consider their views.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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