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In first statement for months... Benkirane demand apology from France

Leader of the Justice and Development Party, Abdelilah Benkirane speaks to the media about the results of the Parliamentary elections in Rabat, Morocco on October 8, 2016.
Leader of the Justice and Development Party, Abdelilah Benkirane speaks to the media in Rabat, Morocco on October 8, 2016.

Former Moroccan PM Abdelilah Benkirane has demanded that France apologize and practice moderation, after insulting the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

Benkirane said in his first statement for several months months, during a speech broadcasted on Facebook: "I am sure that French President Emmanuel Macron made a mistake, especially when he adopted as head of state an insult against the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, and yet no French citizen should be assaulted."

He stressed that Macron's statements have nothing to do with "freedom of expression, but rather an attack people's beliefs," noting that the French president has "insulted the one who is dearer to us than ourselves, the one we are ready to sacrifice our lives for."

Read: Thousands at Al-Aqsa Mosque protest Macron's remarks

Earlier this month, Macron described Islam as "a religion in crisis" and announced plans for tougher laws to tackle "Islamist separatism" in France.

French Muslims have accused him of trying to repress their religion and legitimising Islamophobia.

Turkey has also condemned Macron's attitude towards Muslims and Islam, with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stating that the French leader needed a "mental health check".

Macron's attitude towards Islam, the republication of caricatures insulting the Muslim Prophet Muhammad and their projection on the walls of buildings have triggered boycotts of French products in several countries including Qatar, Kuwait, Algeria, Sudan, Palestine and Morocco.

Read: Turkey to take legal action against France over 'cultural racism and hatred'

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