Macron decries ‘Islamic separatism,’ defends blasphemy

PARIS (AP) — French President Emmanuel Macron has criticized what he calls “Islamic separatism” in his country and those who seek French citizenship without accepting the “right to commit blasphemy.” Macron defended satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, which published caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad that inspired two French-born Islamic extremists to mount a deadly 2015 attack on the paper’s newsroom. The weekly republished the images this week as 14 people went on trial for the attacks on Charlie Hebdo and a kosher supermarket that left 17 dead. Macron’s centrist government has promised a law in the coming months against “Islamic separatism.” Critics fear it could unfairly stigmatize France large and largely moderate Muslim population.