Social media is flooding with immense outrage after French President Emmanuel Macron’s comments on Islam. On October 23, Macron gave a controversial statement, “Islam is a religion that is in crisis all over the world today.” He even went on to say that the government will be presenting a bill in December for strengthening of an official law of 1905, which separated the church & state in France. Macron also pledged to fight Islamist separatism, which he believed was threatening to take control around some Muslim communities in France.
Recently, a teacher Samuel Paty was murdered by an 18-year-old student of Chechen origin, outside the school in the suburbs of Paris. This incident took place on October 16 in broad daylight after which the student was shot dead by the police. The incident happened after Paty had shown some satirical caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad in his class. These cartoon depictions are of a serious offence to the Muslims as Islamic traditions strictly outlaw the depiction of images of the Prophet Muhammad.
The social media outrage has ever since begun after the comments made by the French President on Islam after this incident took place. Macron commented that the teacher, Samuel Paty was killed because “Islamists want our future”, & especially stated that they would “not give up our cartoons”. Social media is hence flooding with immense outrage with hashtags such as #BoycottFrenchProducts, #BoycottFrance, #boycott_French_products, #boycottfranceproducts across countries like Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Kuwait, Qatar, Egypt, Palestine, Jordan, and Algeria.
In Qatar, Wajbah Dairy Company & Al Meera Consumer Goods Company announced a boycott of French products. Qatar University postponed the French Cultural Week event, joining the protest and stating, any denigration or violation of the Islamic beliefs, sanctities, and symbols will be rejected.” According to his opinion, such derogatory remarks affect the global values of humanism and hurt the ideologies of all social structures.
The chairman and members of the board of directors of the Al-Naeem Cooperative society of Kuwait have also boycotted all the French products and decided to remove them from the shelves of the supermarket. They were then joined by the Dahiyat al-Thuhr association. This controversy is causing great tension between France and Turkey as the two were already not on good terms with each other due to the issues in the past like fighting in Syria, Libya, and Nagorno-Karabakh. The Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan questioned the mental state of the French Preside Emmanuel Macron by saying that he needed his head examined. He later said that the French President has lost his way.
In Pakistan, meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan, in a series of tweets on October 25, mentioned that Macron chose to encourage Islamophobia rather than terrorists. Based on the tweet’s opinion, “ The encouragement of Islamophobia by Macron is truly unfortunate when fighting out terrorism by Nazi ideologists, White Supremacists and Muslims are important. . Sadly, President Macron has deliberately chosen to provoke Muslims, which also includes his citizens.”
In Bangladesh, youths protested against the comments of Macron and called for the boycott of French products. The Islamic Youth Movement also held a rally in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, protesting against “ The state-patronized publication of cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad(Sa.) in France”, demanding the cutting of diplomatic ties with France.
A statement issued by the French Foreign Affairs Ministry to prevent the Arab countries from starting boycott quoted, “These calls for boycotts are baseless and should stop immediately. These attacks are deliberately done by a radical minority community to demean our country.”
On Sunday, October 25, the French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted, “ We will not give in, ever. Differences in a spirit of peace is respected by us. We reject hate speech and defend reasonable debate. We will always be with human dignity and universal values.” responding to the calls of boycott from the Muslim communities.