French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian sent a “message of peace” to the Islamic world, in which he emphasized that France is “a country of tolerance and not a place of contempt and rejection,” according to Le Figaro newspaper.
Le Drian said during the discussion of his ministry’s budget on Thursday: “Do not hear the voice of those who seek to fuel suspicion. We must not limit ourselves to the excesses of a minority of manipulators.”
He added, “Religion and Islamic culture are two parts of our French and European history, and we respect them,” noting that “Muslims absolutely belong to our national community.”
Le Drian’s statements come in the midst of the crisis between France and the Islamic world against the backdrop of the publication of insulting cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad under the cover of freedom of expression, and the support of French President Emmanuel Macron.