France has urged middle eastern countries to stop the boycott of French products. President Emmanuel Macron has vowed that the government would never give in to Islamic radicals.
In a Sunday statement, the French foreign ministry said that there had been calls in recent days to boycott French products in several Arab countries. These products were notably food products. Calls for demonstrations against France were all across Arab countries. The protests were over the publication of satirical cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad.
President Emmanuel Macron asked not to give in and to respect the differences in the spirit of peace. They will always be on the side of human dignity and universal values.
“These calls for boycott are baseless and should stop immediately. As well as all attacks against our country, which are being pushed by a radical minority,” the statement said.
Boycott is underway
The boycott began when President Emmanuel Macron criticized Islamists. He vowed not to “give up cartoons” depicting the Prophet Mohammed. Macron posted the comments about the beheading of a teacher, Samuel Paty, outside his school in Paris. This teacher had shown cartoons of Prophet Muhammed in a class on free speech.
Kuwait’s Consumer Cooperative Societies, a non-governmental body, had pulled away several French products from the market. Co-ops also cleared French works from the shelves. These products were mostly hair and beauty products manufactured by French companies.
“The body removed all French products from all Consumer Cooperative Societies,” union head Fahd Al-Kishti told Reuters.
Boycott calls on social media
The co-ops, some the size of hypermarkets, carry government-subsidized staples for Kuwaitis. These account for a big part of retail in the country and organize some educational courses and recreational activities.
A hashtag of Boycott French Products was trending on Twitter on Sunday. Saudi Arabia called the boycotts. The country is the Arab world’s largest economy. Meanwhile, Jordan and Qatar also issue similar sanctions.
The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation on Friday decried the brutal murder that has shaken France. But it also criticized the “justification for blasphemy-based harassment of any religion in the name of freedom of expression.”
France called the boycott baseless. It urged the countries to stop the attacks against France immediately. The French foreign ministry said in a statement:
“These calls for boycott are baseless and should stop immediately, as well as all attacks against our country, which are being pushed by a radical minority.”
Image courtesy of Frederic Legrand – COMEO/Shutterstock