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Tuesday Oct 27 2020

Protests against blasphemy: Which countries have boycotted French goods so far?

Calls for a boycott on French products have been circulating online in Arab countries, where some retailers have completely removed French products from their shelves over the French President's insensitivity towards Muslim religious beliefs. Photo: Reuters

French President Emmanuel Macron has drawn severe criticism and anger from the Muslim world after he said he supported the publication of blasphemous caricatures and intended to introduce several policies that reek of anti-Muslim prejudice and Islamophobia.

Muslim countries have strongly condemned France's objectionable policies and called them a "deliberate provocation" to instigate conflict among the nations of the world while fueling racism and Islamophobia.

Respond to insults to religion with economic boycott, the following are a few Muslim countries who have jumped into action to ban French products in protest against President Macron and his Islamophobic remarks.

Turkey: 'Don't buy French labeled goods'

Being the first prominent Muslim leader to slam Macron for his anti-Muslim statements, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has recently called on his people to boycott French products.

"I call on my people here. Never give credit to French-labelled goods, don’t buy them," he said during a televised speech in Ankara on Monday.

Read more: PM Imran Khan asks Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to ban Islamophobic content on platform

Erdogan's remarks come a day after tensions between Turkey and France escalated, with the latter recalling its ambassador to Turkey after the Turkish president said Macron needed a "mental check". 

Kuwait: 'Extreme dismay'

After the Kuwaiti Foreign Ministry expressed “extreme dismay” over the French publication of offensive caricatures, about 50 cooperative societies in the country removed French products from their outlets, Kuwait's Al Qabas newspaper has reported.

As reported by the Kuwaiti media, the Federation of Consumer Cooperative Societies has sent circulars, saying: "Out of our belief in the cooperative role that does not accept violating our established Islamic tenets and out of community responsibility of cooperatives’ board heads and members, you are kindly requested to boycott all French commodities and products, and lift them."

Jordan: Boycott campaign underway

Similarly, according to American publication CNN, a boycott campaign is also underway in Jordan, where some grocery shops have displayed signs declaring that they will not be selling French goods.

Qatar: French cultural week postponed

With a range of stores in Qatar, including supermarket chain Al Meera, boycotting French products, Qatar University has also said that it is postponing the French Cultural Week it was about to host. 

Pakistan: Social media, religious leaders incensed, call for action

In response to recent controversial comments made by Macron, Pakistan too has launched a campaign to boycott French products with the hashtag, #boycottfrenchproducts, among the top trends on Twitter.

Expressing indignation, religious scholar Maulana Taqi Usmani called for the boycott of French products from countries around the world.

"After insults against the Holy Prophet by France and its president, will we still continue buying and selling, and import of French products? They will only learn a lesson when Muslims around the world will boycott their products...," Usmani wrote on Twitter.

Meanwhile, Chief of Jamaat-e-Islami, Sirajul Haq, told Anadolu Agency that the current trend of boycotting French products and anti-Macron protests around the Muslim world show people's anger, and how much they are hurt by the French president’s statement.