Vladimir Putin’s goddaughter was threatened with beheading after she extended her support and solidarity to French President Emmanuel Macron in the firestorm over controversial cartoons of the Prophet. Xenia Sobchak, 38, a Russian reality TV star and ex-presidential election candidate, sparked furore after she defended the Macron. She lashed out at Ramzan Kadyrov, the Muslim leader of oil-rich Chechnya region, after he accused Macron of “forcing people into terrorism… not leaving them any choice” by justifying the Charlie Hebdo cartoons. Kadyrov, a close ally of Putin, had accused Macron of insulting the values of Muslims.
Sobchak attacked Kadyrov for his “strange medieval understanding of an attack on values”. She also called Macron, her “hero” and praised his support of freedom which is being “crushed around the world”. “If you don’t want to look at cartoons of the Prophet, don’t look at them,” she wrote in an Instagram post. “Do you want to sit wrapped up to your eyes on the beach in Nice? It’s your right. And mine is to wear a bikini. Is this simple truth so difficult for humanity? If you don’t like something, DO NOT LOOK, LEAVE, DO NOT BE INVOLVED.”
She added: “Freedom is the most valuable thing a person has.” Predictably, this post led to a volley of violent threats sent her way. Just a day after three worshippers were killed in a terror attack in Nice — including an elderly woman who was partially beheaded — one shocking message threatened to behead Sobchak if she did not remove the post. “Her head will be off too if she does not remove the post,” the message said. Threats started coming in on Instagram and her personal number.
Other threats read: “Hands off our prophet Mohammed. And she must apologize to Muslims or else…” and “There’s no problem finding you, so you better pick up your phone.” Yet another wrote: “I am a person who defends his prophet from sh**-eaters like yourself. Better die yourself before you are stabbed to death just like that French sh** of yours.”
According to The Sun, Sobchak said she is reporting the threats to the police. She said: “People who write things like this, do you realize that by doing this you dishonor normal, law-abiding Muslims?”
After he lashed out at Macron, Kadryov was instructed to be on the down-low by the Kremlin and told to keep out of foreign policy issues. The Chechen leader declared that he was ready to be fired over the matter, but he was speaking as a Muslim not a politician. “I cannot and will not silently watch atheists scoffing at religion,” he said.
47-year-old French teacher Samuel Paty, who showed pupils cartoons of the Prophet published by satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, was beheaded by 18-year-old Abdullah Anzorov on October 17. Paty was using cartoons to teach his students about the importance of free speech.The photo he showed students was the same one published by Charlie Hebdo, which sparked the attack on the magazine’s offices that had killed 12.