Muslim Countries Boycott French Goods Over Macron Comments

  • Dissatisfied with French President Macron's statement on Muslims and Islam, some Arab countries have begun to boycott French goods
  • The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued an appeal to stop the boycott, and Macron also responded
  • The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued an appeal to stop the boycott and attack on France

Dissatisfied with French President Emmanuel Macron’s statement on Muslims and Islam, some Arab countries have begun to boycott French goods. The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued an appeal to stop the boycott, and President Macron has also responded.

Retail stores in Jordan and Qatar removed French goods, and about 50 cooperatives in Kuwait announced a boycott of French products. These cooperatives are Kuwait’s main distributors. Netizens popularized the names of French brands on the Internet and called for boycotts of French products.

Emmanuel Macron, President of France

The background of the incident was a speech by President Macron. Last Wednesday, he posthumously awarded the French Legion of Honor to Samuel Paty, a teacher killed by Islamists.

In his speech, he expressed his support for those who want to display or publish Mohammed cartoons and said France will not give up caricatures.

In a class on freedom of speech, Paty showed students a cartoon about the Islamic prophet Muhammad, published in the satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo five years ago.

Afterward, he was killed by a murderer with a knife in the street and beheaded. The murderer was Abdoulakh Anzorov, an 18-year-old Russian man of Chechen descent. Anzorov was subsequently shot dead by the police for resisting arrest. Investigators found a picture of Paty on the phone of the murderer, Anzorov, and news claiming to be responsible for his killing .

Appeal of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Workers at a supermarket in the Jordanian capital, Amman, remove French products from shelves during a boycott of French products.

The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued an appeal to stop the boycott and attack on France. The Ministry stated that these actions distorted the position defended by France.

France has always advocated freedom of thought, freedom of speech, and freedom of religion, and opposed hateful speech.

The incident continued to ferment, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan once again bombarded President Macron. He said in a speech broadcast on TV that Macron is really a “patient and must be checked.”

Just the day before, Erdogan criticized Macron, saying he needed mental treatment. At a meeting on the weekend, he said Macron did not understand freedom of belief, and needed spiritual treatment. France subsequently said Erdogan’s remarks were “unacceptable,” and announced the recall of its ambassador to Turkey.

“This is a time when President Macron could have put a healing touch and denied space to extremists rather than creating further polarization and marginalization that inevitably leads to radicalization,”  Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan criticized Macron. He wrote on Twitter yesterday (October 25):

“Sadly, President Macron has chosen to deliberately provoke Muslims, including his own citizens, and encouraged the display of blasphemous cartoons targeting Islam and the Holy Prophet.”

Macron did not respond directly, but posted a tweet later that day, saying:

“We will not give in, ever. We respect all differences in a spirit of peace. We do not accept hate speech and defend reasonable debate. We will always be on the side of human dignity and universal values.”

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Benedict Kasigara

I have been working as a freelance editor/writer since 2006. My specialist subject is film and television having worked for over 10 years from 2005 during which time I was the editor of the BFI Film and Television.

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