Several countries in the Middle East call for a boycott of French products

 

October 25, 2020

 


Shelves emptied of French products at a supermarket in Kuwait, Kuwait, on October 23. YASSER AL-ZAYYAT / AFP

 

Source: Via CBS

 

Calls for a boycott of French products have multiplied in several countries in the Middle East, Saturday, October 24, while the President of the Republic, Emmanuel Macron, has promised not to “Give up caricatures” of the Prophet Muhammad. The movement began to emerge on social media on Friday through hashtags in Arabic.

The French head of state spoke Thursday during a tribute to Professor Samuel Paty, assassinated by an Islamist after showing his fourth year students, as part of a course on freedom of expression, drawings of Muhammad – representations of the prophet being prohibited in Muslim tradition.

Also read the story: “We will continue the fight for freedom”: Emmanuel Macron pays homage to Samuel Paty, “the professor of which Jaurès dreamed”

Turkey, Iran, Jordan and Kuwait denounced the publication of cartoons, while the Organization for Islamic Cooperation, a body that brings together Muslim countries, deplored “The words of certain French officials (…), likely to harm Franco-Muslim relations”.

Kuwaitis calling for a boycott of France, after the declarations of the president, Emmanuel Macron, on the cartoons of Mohammed. In Kuwait, capital of Kuwait, on October 24.

Kuwaitis calling for a boycott of France, after the declarations of the president, Emmanuel Macron, on the cartoons of Mohammed. In Kuwait, capital of Kuwait, on October 24. – / AFP

In Qatar, the distribution chains Al-Meera and Souq Al-Baladi have announced that they “Withdraw” French products from stores until further notice. In one of Al-Meera’s stores, an Agence France-Presse (AFP) correspondent saw employees removing St. Dalfour brand jams from shelves. The University of Qatar also announced on Friday on Twitter the postponement of the French cultural week following “The deliberate attack on Islam and its symbols”.

Also read the interview: Why blasphemy continues to cause a scandal
In Kuwait, images showing Kiri and Babybel cheeses removed from the shelves of some stores were relayed on social networks. About sixty cooperative companies working in the retail sector in Kuwait have announced a boycott of French products, the vice-president of the Federation of Cooperatives, Khaled Al-Otaibi, told AFP: “We have removed all French products, namely cheeses, creams and cosmetics, from the shelves and returned them to authorized agents for these brands in Kuwait. “

Shelves emptied of French products at a supermarket in Kuwait, Kuwait, on October 23.

Shelves emptied of French products at a supermarket in Kuwait, Kuwait, on October 23. YASSER AL-ZAYYAT / AFP

Some 430 Kuwaiti travel agencies have also suspended bookings for flights to France, the head of the Emirate’s Federation of Travel Agencies said. In Jordan, the Islamic Action Front, an opposition party, called on citizens to boycott French products.

The Gulf countries, notably Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, represent an increasingly important market for the exports of the French agri-food industry.

Demonstration in front of the French Embassy in Tel Aviv

In addition, nearly 200 people gathered on Saturday evening in front of the residence of the French ambassador to Israel to denounce the words of the French president. Protesters called on banners written in Arabic in defense of Muhammad at the rally, which began after evening prayers in Jaffa, a largely Arab city adjoining metropolitan Tel Aviv. The crowd dispersed without incident.

 

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