Khabib Nurmagomedov denounced French president Emmanuel Macron on Friday following the world leader’s latest comments on Islam.
Nurmagomedov, one of the most popular Muslim fighters in the world, referred to Macron as “scum” and invoked the wrath of God on the French leader after he defended the caricatures and cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed.
“May God disfigure the face of this scum and that of all his followers who, under the slogan of free speech, offended the feelings of over 1.5 billion Muslims,” Nurmagomedov wrote in an Instagram post (h/t RT Sports). “May the Almighty humiliate them in this life, and in the next. Allah is quick in calculation and you will see it.
“We are Muslims, we love our Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) more than our mothers, fathers, children, wives and all other people close to our hearts. Believe me, these provocations will come back to them, the end is always for the God-fearing,” Khabib added.
Nurmagomedov’s post, which was accompanied by a verse from the Quran as well as a picture of Macron with an imprint of a shoe on his face, has accumulated more than 2.5 million likes in seven hours.
The retired UFC champion’s comments come in the wake of Macron’s defense of freedom of expression after a high school teacher was beheaded in a Paris suburb for showing pupils caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed in a lesson on free speech.
“Islam is a religion which is experiencing a crisis today, all over the world,” Macron said in a speech earlier this month.
Macron’s stance on the cartoons, which are seen as blasphemous in Islamic teachings, have prompted a wide-scale backlash from the Muslim world, including Muslim leaders like Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Since those comments, three more people have been killed in a knife attack in Nice on Thursday, in what is suspected to be a terrorist attack.
“Very clearly, it’s France that has been attacked,” Macron said in Nice. “If we are under attack, it’s because of our values, our taste for freedom, the ability on our soil to have freedom of belief. And I say it with clarity again today: We will not give any ground.”
Nurmagomedov is not the only fighter who has been vocal about Macron’s comments. Russian middleweight Magomed Ismailov labeled former Russian presidential candidate Ksenia Sobchak a “stupid animal” over her support for Macron. However, Nurmagomedov has been known to make statements in defence of Islam in the past, as well as political statements regarding corruption in Dagestan.