• Monday, May 17, 2021
  • Last Update : 01:30 am

Macron comments provoke Mideast ire, boycotts of French goods

  • Published at 02:02 pm October 25th, 2020
Int'l- Macron comments provoke Mideast ire, boycotts of French goods
Kuwaitis lift placards expressing anger at French President Emmanuel Macron at a rally in front of the country's National Assembly (parliament) in Kuwait City, on October 24, 2020. - Several Middle Eastern countries have slammed comments by President Emmanuel Macron defending cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed, with some instituting boycotts of French goods AFP

'What can one say about a head of state who treats millions of members from different faith groups this way: first of all, have mental checks'

Calls to boycott French goods are growing in the Arab world and beyond, after President Emmanuel Macron criticized Islamists and vowed not to "give up cartoons" depicting Prophet Mohammed (PBUH).

Macron's comments, on Wednesday, came in response to the beheading of a teacher, Samuel Paty, outside his school in a suburb outside Paris earlier this month, after he had shown cartoons of Prophet Mohammed during a class he was leading on free speech.  

The teacher became the target of an online hate campaign over his choice of lesson material -- the same images that unleashed a bloody assault by Islamist gunmen on the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, the original publisher, in January 2015.

Caricatures of Mohammed are forbidden in Islam.

On Saturday, Jordan's foreign ministry said it condemned the "continued publication of caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed under the pretext of freedom of expression" and any "discriminatory and misleading attempts that seek to link Islam with terrorism."

It did not directly criticise Macron, although the French president had on Wednesday also contended that Paty was "killed because Islamists want our future."

But Jordan's opposition Islamic Action Front party called on the French president to apologise for his comments and urged citizens in the kingdom to boycott French goods.

Such boycotts are already underway in Kuwait and Qatar.

'Mental checks'

Dozens of Kuwaiti stores are boycotting French products, with images on social media showing workers removing French Kiri and Babybel processed cheese from shelves.

In Doha, an AFP correspondent saw workers stripping shelves of French-made St Dalfour jams and Saf-Instant yeast in a branch of the Al Meera supermarket chain on Saturday.

Al Meera and another grocery operator, Souq Al Baladi, released statements late Friday saying they would pull French products from stores until further notice.

They stopped short of explicitly naming Macron or citing his comments, but the Al Meera statement said customer "comments guided our actions."

Recep Tayyip Erdogan -- the president of Turkey and a major ally of Qatar -- on Saturday slammed  Macron over his policies toward Muslims, saying that the French president needed "mental checks."

"What can one say about a head of state who treats millions of members from different faith groups this way: first of all, have mental checks," Erdogan said in a televised address.

Before Macron's comments on Wednesday, he had already sparked a backlash in early October when he said "Islam is a religion that is in crisis all over the world".

Nayef Falah Mubarak Al-Hajraf, secretary general of the Gulf Cooperation Council called Macron's words "irresponsible" on Friday, and said they would "increase the spread of a culture of hatred."

The same day, Qatar University wrote on Twitter that following "the deliberate abuse of Islam and its symbols," French Cultural Week would be postponed indefinitely, in a context where 2020 is the France-Qatar year of culture. 

Many Jordanians have changed their profiles on Facebook to add the message "Respect Mohammad the Prophet of Allah (God)."

In Jaffa, a largely Arab town next to Tel Aviv, some 200 people protested after evening prayers on Saturday in front of the residence of France's ambassador to Israel.

65
Facebook 51
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail