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France has suffered attacks twice Conflans-Sainte-Honorine girls sexy the last two weeks, and is doubly in shock: in a school in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, and in a church in Nice. The Muslim world is watching and you, yourself, are watching the reactions across the Muslim world.

What would you like to say to the Muslim world today? THE PRESIDENT Thank you for coming, and you are quite right in pointing out that our country has been struck three times by terrorist acts committed by violent extremists who did so by distorting, hijacking Islam, and with acts that have utterly stunned and wounded the people of France: the decapitation of a teacher because he was freely teaching; and in Nice on Thursday in a church, the Notre Dame Basilica, the decapitation of two people and a knife attack upon a third. Today France is reeling from these attacks, not only with a feeling of sadness, and unity also, but also with anger.

And there were, for the first time, while we were still in the throes of these unfolding attacks, very strong reactions I would say internationally, criticizing France on the basis of a whole series of misunderstandings. That is why I would like to clear them up, including here, with you, because I have seen what is sometimes said on your Conflans-Sainte-Honorine girls sexy networks, on your channel, and I think that it is time to dispel many misunderstandings. My first comment, if I may, is for those French people who identify as being of the Catholic faith, since they suffered a very painful wound yesterday.

I wish to reiterate to them our full support, the protection of the French Republic. A few minutes ago I was talking with the Pope, discussing this very issue.

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And to Conflans-Sainte-Honorine girls sexy French people of the Muslim faith, and indeed to citizens from anywhere else in the world whose religion is Islam, I should like to say to them that France is a country in which this religion, too, is freely practised. There is no stigmatisation; all that is untrue. It is a country, moreover, whose overarching vocation is to strive for peace, to be able to thrive, no matter which religion a person may follow. So a lot of falsehoods have been bandied about. I want to deliver a very firm message here against terrorism, against all those violent extremists, and at the same time an equally strong message of peace, of unity, of reinstated truth.

That is the main goal of my exchange with you today. With regard to the cartoons that have been published in France on more than one occasion, these caricatures that depict the prophet of Islam, it is Muslims, all Muslims, each time, that feel wounded, shocked and at times misunderstood. THE PRESIDENT You are referring to, and thus we can start with one of the misunderstandings from these last few weeks, or at least a misinterpretation or, if I were to word it more strongly, the starting point for numerous manipulations: this issue of the caricatures.

This is not a new issue. I remember that some fifteen years ago now it led to dreadful controversy with Denmark, too, and France lent its support at the time, and today again, with France. Our country has a history, and the history of our country involves the construction of the res publica as being removed from religion. We created our laws, which stemmed from the ideas of the Enlightenment; our laws which are an emanation of the people of France itself, of this sovereign people.

Conflans-Sainte-Honorine girls sexy in our laws, our principles, our rights, individual freedoms are enshrined; religious freedom, as I mentioned, which we defend and which is exercised in our country, but also the freedom of thought and the freedom of expression. This means that in our country, in France, any journalist is free to speak about the French President, the Government, the political majority or minority or indeed the rest of the world.

Included within this freedom of expression is the possibility, also, of drawing pictures, of making caricatures. This Conflans-Sainte-Honorine girls sexy within our rights. It is a longstanding right, dating back to the late nineteenth century. It is important to defend it because it stems from the will of the French people, and we are sovereign in our own country. This right has meant that there are caricatures in our newspapers, and we also have a history of this. And these caricatures poke fun at our political leaders — and yours truly is a prime target thereof — and this is understandable, and also Conflans-Sainte-Honorine girls sexy many religions, at all religions.

And while we are on the subject of caricatures, it is important to bear in mind that numerous publications, including Charlie Hebdo, which has received so much attention, have first and foremost caricatured the deity of Christians, caricatured the Jewish religion, Rabbis, etc. Personally, I can understand the feelings that this may arouse, I respect those feelings, but I need you to understand what my role is.

My role is to restore calm, as I am doing now, but at the same time my role is to safeguard rights. And there is a difference here, which it is vital for any Muslims who may have taken offence to understand.

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The issue is not about whether France, or the French President acting on its behalf, made such caricatures or supports their content — this is not the issue at stake because the press is free to publish what it will; these are not official publications and it is not the French Government producing these caricatures — the issue is, rather, whether the French President is willing to do away with this right: the answer is no, because this is a right of the French people and because everyone is treated in the same way.

And so the key point is that I have a duty to safeguard this freedom. Naturally, I want all of this to happen in a spirit of mutual respect, but this freedom is crucial. And so a lot has been said these last few weeks about the caricatures, and some might disapprove, which is perfectly fine. Moreover, the same goes for people in France or in other countries where there is freedom of expression, and I find it only natural that there Conflans-Sainte-Honorine girls sexy those who speak out against it Conflans-Sainte-Honorine girls sexy say: "We disagree with this". I, for one, disagree… But there are two things that I cannot accept.

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The first thing is the confusion peddled by swathes of the media, and some political and religious leaders, whereby these caricatures are painted as being some kind of ploy or emanation on the part of the French Government or the President of France.

As I see it, my job is to preserve this right and I shall continue to preserve it. And the second thing that I cannot accept is for this disapproval to be used as a justification, directly or indirectly, for violence. I am not a specialist in theology, but I have never viewed Islam as legitimizing or fostering the recourse to violence of any kind. And so, while I can understand and respect the fact that some people may be upset by these caricatures, I will never accept anyone justifying any physical violence on of these caricatures, and I shall continue defending the freedom in my country to speak, to write, to think and to draw.

This does not mean that I, personally, approve of everything that others may say, think or draw, but it does mean that these liberties, these human rights which were pondered, desired and created in France, well, I do believe that we have a duty to protect them, as well as to protect the sovereignty of the French people. In your speech during the tribute to the teacher who was murdered, Mr Samuel Paty, you stated, and I quote, "We will not disavow the caricatures, the drawings, even if others recoil.

How to assess this? But first of all, let us start with the sentence that you have just quoted, and I want to thank you for citing it accurately; in the translations of that sentence by many media across the Arab world, which I saw on social networks, it was twisted into a falsehood. Those unfaithful translations would have had me saying: "I support the caricatures humiliating the prophet". I never said any such thing. Secondly, it is as I said, that I would safeguard this right because that is my role, and that I furthermore believe that in a society, we need to be able to accept, to accommodate this respect with one another.

But it is not up to me, as President of France, to diminish this right because some people might take offence. This is what I need you to Conflans-Sainte-Honorine girls sexy, because if I were to do that, I would be establishing in my country some kind of moral order or religious order. I would be saying to those who write or illustrate: "You are not to say such-and-such because others will get upset.

And this is where the difficulty lies with our approach, collectively, and with the approach of the Enlightenment, the values that we hold dear, which extend beyond the mere fact of coexisting side by side, and include agreeing to allow commentary on one another Conflans-Sainte-Honorine girls sexy a calm manner, with the respect in which I trust, sometimes to make fun of one another, regardless of our religion or our philosophy, but always agreeing to do this in a respectful and peaceful way.

And with regard to my statement that you quoted, and the reactions across the Muslim world, I feel firstly that they came about because of the many lies, the misconstrued distortions that I mentioned, and the fact that people were under the impression that I, personally, approved of these caricatures.

To them, I would say: that is beside the point. What is important to me is that in my country one can write, think and draw freely because I believe that it is important, that it is a right, that these are our freedoms. I understand that some may find it upsetting, I respect that, which proves that it needs to be discussed. It needs to be talked about. A space for respect and mutual understanding needs to be created. But I do not think that the solution would be to eliminate this right, let alone to justify any form of violence because of its upsetting nature.

Publishing them is easy, republishing them, there is this repetition, as if it were very easy to caricature the prophet of Islam, Conflans-Sainte-Honorine girls sexy so than for others. Catholics in our country have also sometimes been outraged at what they have seen; I know that Jewish people have also had cause; and this proves that it needs to be discussed. But I disagree with the idea that there is some kind of stigmatisation in this.

That is incorrect. And I also want to insist on the fact that freedom of expression extends far beyond mere caricatures, although this is part of it. All in all, I think that we must not slip into a pattern of provocation and counter-provocation. I wanted to restate the facts as they stand, and how we got here. These illustrations were drawn in France, and the applicable law in France is not the law of Islam; it is the law of the sovereign French people. And it is they who decide, and moreover these laws date from the nineteenth century.

With what authority could I possibly, on the grounds that a religion takes issue with a certain representation or a certain word, go and outlaw it? I cannot do that and neither do I think that this falls under my remit. And so my hope is that, together, hence this message… I hope to dispel the Conflans-Sainte-Honorine girls sexy and ambiguities, and I want to address Muslims all around the world and say: in your countries there are undoubtedly things with which some religions, or perhaps nationals from my own country, take issue.

We need to learn to understand each other better, to take on board the reason behind our respective laws, our respective customs. But there is nothing in these caricatures, in this freedom of expression, that speaks against Conflans-Sainte-Honorine girls sexy one religion, and certainly not against Islam. But there is the importance in our country — and many other countries, I also note with some sadness, many countries in the world have given up on freedom of expression in recent decades because of controversies, out of fear, due to the chaos unleashed by exactly these kinds of reactions.

And so there is a kind of cutback in this Conflans-Sainte-Honorine girls sexy to draw, to discuss, to be at times provocative, which I think undermines our freedom, for all of us. Rest assured of one thing, here, in particular, yours truly, as President of the French Republic, respects all of his fellow citizens here in France, but also citizens from around the world, regardless of their religion.

And I set great store by that respect. But I want you to understand what the exercise of this freedom in France and in other countries means and that a mark of my respect is also to offer Muslims the same treatment as is offered to followers of any religion, to try to create this space of respect which can accept humour, difference.

I might have something to say when things cause outrage, not so as to ban them or lessen them, but so as to discuss them together. Why are there laws against anti-Semitism? Why are there laws that close debate on certain historical facts? For example, revisionism, things like that, in which one cannot… which Conflans-Sainte-Honorine girls sexy protected by French law. France is working to combat anti-Semitism and racism in every form and anti-Semitism in that it is an attack, a challenge, hatred against one people, but Conflans-Sainte-Honorine girls sexy all peoples.

Anti-Semitism and racism in France are being tackled and are prohibited by law. And so there is not only a fight against anti-Semitism, it would be incorrect to assert as such: all racism is prohibited. And yet, by the same token, we have in France the right to caricature — to pick up on our conversation a moment ago — to criticize the Jewish religion, as with any religion. There is therefore no double standard, there is no partiality. That is untrue, simply untrue. There is indeed Conflans-Sainte-Honorine girls sexy law in France against historical revisionism because many people used Holocaust denial as a basis for anti-Semitism.

That is a historical fact. But in France, all we are doing is addressing a historical fact. You can look to other countries if you want to see how to cover up some genocide or avoid teaching some painful episode of history; not to France. We acknowledge the facts squarely, including crimes that we ourselves have committed. We have accepted blame for our part in slavery and colonialism. France thus looks back on its history with honesty, but expects others to do the same, so that hatred cannot feed on some revised, modified or false version of history.

All forms of Conflans-Sainte-Honorine girls sexy and anti-Semitism are against the law in France.

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Indeed it does exist, and it is a dreadful scourge, and we are combatting it. I have asked the Government to do more in this fight, right from the start of my term in office, and in fact my predecessors, too, of all political stripes, did the same thing, not only because there had been a lot of violence against Jews in France in recent years, Conflans-Sainte-Honorine girls sexy also because of acts committed out of racism, which are unacceptable.

We tackle all of these acts in the same manner. On the other hand, as I was saying, it is possible to criticize religions. And then, there is the separate issue of acts being undertaken that target certain religions. And in this regard, I mean to be very clear, I hope that we are intransigent.

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But in France today, as we speak, there are those who commit acts against Muslims because they are Muslims, against Catholics because they are Catholics, against Protestants because they are Conflans-Sainte-Honorine girls sexy, against Jews because they are Jews, and so on. And that is why, as it happens, I wanted the Minister of the Interior to be able to entrust a parliamentarian with the task of identifying, monitoring and improving transparency around any acts committed on French soil against our fellow citizens on the grounds of religion.

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