Emmanuel Macron recently criticised the killing of a teacher -- Samuel Paty -- in the suburbs of Paris by a radical Islamist
Social media users have started several campaigns to boycott French products in protest against the recent comments made by France’s President Emmanuel Macron on Islam.
Macron recently criticised the killing of a teacher -- Samuel Paty -- in the suburbs of Paris by a radical Islamist. The incident happened after the teacher had shown caricatures of Prophet Muhammad to his class.
Paty, 47, was murdered on October 16 by an 18-year-old radical of Chechen origin. He was, in turn, shot dead by police.
On October 23, Macron said that Islam was in crisis all over the world. He earlier criticised the killing of the teacher.
Following this, in numerous countries of the Middle East, calls to boycott French products have been relayed on social media.
Using different hashtags such as "#BoycottFrance, #boycottFrenchProducts, #boycott_French_products and #ProphetMuhammad, netizens called for the boycott of all French products.
As the campaign triggered on social media, Macron tweeted in English and Arabic on October 25, “We will not give in, ever.”
He also affirmed, “We respect all differences in a spirit of peace. We do not accept hate speech and defend reasonable debate. We will always be on the side of human dignity and universal values.” Another presidential tweet said in bold print “We are ONE”.
Meanwhile, the controversy has further intensified tension between Turkey and France, which have already locked horns over issues that include the fighting in Syria, Libya and Nagorno-Karabakh, a region within Azerbaijan that is controlled by ethnic Armenian separatists.
The president of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan is taking swipes at Macron for condoning caricatures of the prophet of Islam in a growing, potentially high-risk dispute. On October 25, a day after saying that Macron needed his head examined, the Turkish President said that the French leader has lost his way.
Meanwhile, Pakistan and a bloc of Muslim nations condemned, without using insults, remarks by Macron last week in which he refused to condemn the publication or showing of caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan tweeted on October 25 that Macron chose to encourage Islamophobia by attacking Islam rather than the terrorists and to deliberately provoke Muslims, including his own citizens.
The 57-nation Organization of Islamic Cooperation, headquartered in Saudi Arabia, has also condemned the ongoing practice of running satirical caricatures depicting the Prophet Muhammad and will continue to decry justification for blasphemy of any religion in the name of freedom of expression.