Islamic body criticises French genocide bill

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The world's largest Muslim body criticised on Tuesday a bill passed by the French Senate making denial of the Armenian genocide a crime, according to an official statement.

The bill, approved Monday by 127 votes to 86, makes it an offence punishable by jail in France to deny that the 1915 massacre of Armenians by Ottoman Turk forces amounted to genocide.

"We reject this law and consider it to be inconsistent with historical facts," said the statement from the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation adding that it reflects a "double standard in the treatment of major historical issues."

The OIC further accused the French Senate of passing the bill for "political and electoral" gain and said the law violates the "principles of freedom of expression."

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has slammed the bill as discriminatory and racist and said it "violates freedom of thought."

© 2012 AFP

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