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Saturday, October 23, 2021

Calls to ‘replace’ boycotted French products with Turkish goods

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The call to boycott French products comes in protest of President Emmanuel Macron’s anti-Islam remarks.

An Arabic hashtag calling to “replace  French products with Turkish goods” trended among Twitter users in the Gulf region on Wednesday, as public outrage engulfs the Muslim world following president Emmanuel Macron’s perceived “insults” towards Islam.

Social media users launched the campaign to urge shoppers to opt for Turkish imports instead, as shelves across Muslim-majority countries continue to scrap French products.

In Qatar, Turkish imports have already grown in popularity since the 2017 illegal land, air and sea blockade, which saw Ankara quickly move to stock grocery stores across the Gulf state.

“I hope this campaign launches across the rest of the Arab and Muslim countries. Supporting a country [Turkey] that respects Islam and its honourable prophet is more important than supporting those who insult our sanctities and prophet,” Faisal bin Jassim Al-Thani tweeted to more than 400,000 followers.

Read also: Qatar’s Al Meera removes French products amid growing boycott movement

The local boycott of French products began on October 24, when Qatar’s flagship Al Meera supermarket removed all that was made in France.

Al Meera’s move, which encouraged other local stores to follow suit, came amid rising tension between France and the Muslim world after the killing of a teacher who showed his class caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad.

French authorities responded with a large-scale crackdown on Islamic entities in the country, raiding more than 50 mosques and associations. 

The French magazine at the centre of the cartoon controversy, Charlie Hebdo, republished the offensive caricatures of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad and Macron affirmed his country would “not give up cartoons.” He has also refused to condemn the magazine’s decision, vowing measures against what he called “Islamic separatism.”

Earlier, Macron sparked outrage for describing Islam as a religion “in crisis” worldwide.

As a response, Muslims around the world launched a virtual campaign to condemn France’s Islamophobia, calling for a boycott of French products. Protesters have also taken to the streets in capitals around the world to denounce the ongoing provocation.

Just days later, France called on leaders in the Arab and Muslim world to stop “baseless” calls for boycott in their countries.

Read also: The bumbling Macron and delusions of ‘grandeur’ France

The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the second-largest inter-governmental body after the United Nations, slammed France’s anti-Muslim rhetoric.

“We condemn the constant systematic attack on the feelings of Muslims by insulting the religious symbols represented by the person of the Prophet Muhammad,” an OIC statement read.


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