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World France urges Arab nations to prevent boycotts

03:10  26 october  2020
03:10  26 october  2020 Source:   bbc.com

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France has urged Middle Eastern countries to prevent any boycott of its goods in protest at President Emmanuel Macron's defence of the right to show cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad. The French foreign ministry said the "baseless" calls for a boycott were being "pushed by a radical minority".

PARIS (Sputnik) - Calls for a boycott of French products in some Muslim countries are groundless "The calls for a boycott are groundless and must be stopped immediately, like all attacks against our freedom of conscience. The suspect was born in Moscow, but years later moved to France and was

France has urged Middle Eastern countries to prevent any boycott of its goods in protest at President Emmanuel Macron's defence of the right to show cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.

a display in a store: Some shops in Kuwait had stripped their shelves of French-made products by Sunday © Reuters Some shops in Kuwait had stripped their shelves of French-made products by Sunday

The French foreign ministry said the "baseless" calls for a boycott were being "pushed by a radical minority".

French products have been removed from some shops in Kuwait, Jordan and Qatar.

Meanwhile, protests have been seen in Libya, Syria and the Gaza Strip.

The backlash stems from comments made by Mr Macron after the gruesome murder of a French teacher who showed cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad in class.

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PARIS (Reuters) - France on Sunday urged Middle Eastern countries to stop retail companies from boycotting French products. "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

Several Arab trade groups have announced their boycott of French products in response to incitements against the Islamic Qatar University also joined the boycott campaign, announcing that it decided to postpone the French Cultural Week in protest of the anti-Islam insults. boycott . France .

The president said the teacher, Samuel Paty, "was killed because Islamists want our future", but France would "not give up our cartoons".

  • Beheading of teacher deepens divisions in France
  • French anger over Turkey's 'rude' Macron comments

Depictions of the Prophet Muhammad can cause serious offence to Muslims because Islamic tradition explicitly forbids images of Muhammad and Allah (God).

But state secularism - or laïcité - is central to France's national identity. Curbing freedom of expression to protect the feelings of one particular community, the state says, undermines unity.

On Sunday, Mr Macron doubled down on his defence of French values in a tweet that read: "We will not give in, ever."

https://twitter.com/EmmanuelMacron/status/1320419059016617985

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Spain has declared a national state of emergency and imposed a night-time curfew in an effort to help control a new spike in Covid-19 infections. France urges Arab nations to prevent boycotts .

Political leaders in Turkey and Pakistan have rounded on Mr Macron, accusing him of not respecting "freedom of belief" and marginalising the millions of Muslims in France.

On Sunday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan suggested, for a second time, that Mr Macron should seek "mental checks" for his views on Islam.

Similar comments prompted France to recall its ambassador to Turkey for consultations on Saturday.

How widespread is the boycott on French products?

Some supermarket shelves had been stripped of French products in Jordan, Qatar and Kuwait by Sunday. French-made hair and beauty items, for example, were not on display.

In Kuwait, a major retail union has ordered a boycott of French goods.

The non-governmental Union of Consumer Co-operative Societies said it had issued the directive in response to "repeated insults" against the Prophet Muhammad.

In a statement, the French foreign ministry acknowledged the moves, writing: "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."

Macron comments provoke Mideast ire, boycotts of French goods

  Macron comments provoke Mideast ire, boycotts of French goods Calls to boycott French goods are growing in the Arab world and beyond, after President Emmanuel Macron criticised Islamists and vowed not to "give up cartoons" depicting the Prophet Mohammed. It did not directly criticise Macron, although the French president had on Wednesday also contended that Paty was "killed because Islamists want our future".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 the Prophet Mohammed during a class he was leading on free speech.

France urges Arab nations to prevent boycotts .

See also: Boycotts of Israel and Arab League boycott of Israel. Boycotts are facilitated by urging the public to avoid purchasing goods made by Israeli companies, divestment by urging Its army targets Palestinian cultural institutions for attack and prevents the free movement of cultural workers.

a store shelf filled with food: Calls for a boycott on French products have been circulating online in Arab countries © Reuters Calls for a boycott on French products have been circulating online in Arab countries

Online, calls for similar boycotts in other Arab countries, such as Saudi Arabia, have been circulating.

A hashtag calling for the boycott of French supermarket chain Carrefour was the second-most trending topic in Saudi Arabia, the Arab world's largest economy.

Meanwhile, small anti-French protests were held in Libya, Gaza and northern Syria, where Turkish-backed militias exert control.

Why is France embroiled in this row?

Mr Macron's robust defence of French secularism and criticism of radical Islam in the wake of Mr Paty's killing has angered some in the Muslim world.

Turkey's Mr Erdogan asked in a speech: "What's the problem of the individual called Macron with Islam and with the Muslims?"

Meanwhile PPakistani leader Imran Khan accused the French leader of "attacking Islam, clearly without having any understanding of it".

"President Macron has attacked and hurt the sentiments of millions of Muslims in Europe & across the world," he tweeted.

  • French Muslims fear state aims to control their faith

Earlier this month, before the teacher's killing, Mr Macron had already announced plans for tougher laws to tackle what he called "Islamist separatism" in France.

He said a minority of France's estimated six million Muslims were in danger of forming a "counter-society", describing Islam as a religion "in crisis".

Cartoons caricaturing the Islamic prophet have a dark and intensely political legacy in France.

In 2015, 12 people were killed in an attack on the offices of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, which had published the cartoons.

Some in Western Europe's largest Muslim community have accused Mr Macron of trying to repress their religion and say his campaign risks legitimising Islamophobia.

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