Instagram suspends Iranian supreme leader Khamenei's account after anti-Macron post

Instagram suspends Iranian supreme leader Khamenei's account after anti-Macron post
Instagram has suspended Ayotallah Ali Khamenei's French language account days after he posted an anti-Macron comment.
2 min read
30 October, 2020
Instagram has suspended Ayatollah Khamenei's account [Screenshot/Instagram]
Instagram has suspended the French language page of Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, just two days after he posted a message aimed at the youth of France.

Khamenei on Wednesday made a post for the French youth in which he asked them to direct questions to French President Emmanuel Macron.

“Why is questioning the Holocaust a crime in France, while it is permissible to offend the Messenger of God (PBUH)?” he wrote.

The post continued: “Why does he support insulting the Messenger of God (PBUH) and considers it freedom of expression? Does freedom of expression mean: insulting and offending sacred faces? Is this foolish act not an insult to the conscience of the people that elected him as its president?”

The Instagram post was removed and by Friday, Khamenei’s account was suspended.

Read also: Iran's Khamenei says Macron's support for Prophet cartoons 'stupid act'

This is the second incident this week in which inflammatory comments on France by high profile world leaders have been removed from social media.

On Friday, Malaysia's former premier Mahathir Mohamad accused Twitter and Facebook of unfair treatment after they removed his posts that said Muslims had the right "to kill millions of French people".

The 95-year-old sparked outrage by posting the remarks on the platforms a day earlier, shortly after a knifeman killed three people at a church in Nice, France's latest attack blamed on Islamist terrorism.

But Mahathir, who was prime minister of Muslim-majority Malaysia until February, said his comments had been misrepresented and his main intention was to express that Muslims had never sought revenge for injustices.

Tensions have risen between France and Muslim-majority nations, which flared up earlier this month when a young Muslim beheaded a French schoolteacher who had shown caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad in class.

Those images, republished by the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo to mark the opening of the trial for the deadly 2015 attack against the publication, have stirred the ire of Muslims across the world who consider depictions of the prophet blasphemous.

A series of attacks that French authorities have attributed to Muslim extremism ensued. On Thursday, a knife-wielding Tunisian man carrying a copy of the Quran killed three people at a church in the Mediterranean city of Nice. That same day, a Saudi man stabbed and lightly wounded a security guard at the French consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, prompting France to urge its citizens there to be on “high alert".

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