Criticism of the statements made by French President Emmanuel Macron about Islam has escalated, amid an expansion of campaigns to boycott French products, while Macron assured that his country will not back down, and his Foreign Ministry issued a statement on the issue.
The French President said - in a tweet he posted in Arabic - "Nothing will ever make us back off."
"We respect all differences in the spirit of peace. We never accept hate speech, and we defend rational debate. We will always stand by human dignity and universal values," he added.
Prior to that, the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement saying that the past few days have witnessed calls in many countries of the Middle East to boycott French products, especially food products, as well as calls for demonstrations against France due to the publication of cartoons insulting to the Prophet Muhammad (may God bless him and grant him peace). .
The governments of the concerned countries called for "stopping" calls to boycott French goods and demonstrate, saying that they come from a "radical minority."
The French Foreign Ministry said in its statement that "the calls for a boycott are absurd and must stop immediately, as should all attacks on our country that are behind a radical minority."
Khan: Macron attacks Islam
Khan: Macron attacks Islam
In response to Macron's statements, Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan said Sunday that French President Emmanuel Macron "attacked Islam" when he encouraged the display of cartoons that mock the Prophet Muhammad (may God bless him and grant him peace).
Nothing makes us hold back, ever.
We respect all differences in the spirit of peace.
We never accept hate speech and defend rational debate.
We will always stand by human dignity and universal values.
- Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) October 25, 2020
Khan's comments came days after Macron paid tribute to the French history teacher, who cut off his head in response to his showing of cartoons mocking the Holy Prophet in a classroom during a class on freedom of expression.
Later, on Friday, the drawings were displayed on government buildings in France, causing an uproar in the Arab and Islamic world.
Khan said on Twitter, "It is regrettable that President Macron chose to deliberately provoke Muslims, including his (Muslims) citizens, by encouraging the display of offensive cartoons targeting Islam and our Prophet, may blessings and peace be upon him,".
Khan said Macron could have acted wisely to deny extremists any pretext, but instead "chose to encourage Islamophobia by attacking Islam and not terrorists who commit violence, whoever they are: Muslims, white supremacists, or Nazi ideologues."
Khan's comments came after a similar criticism of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, after which France recalled its ambassador to Ankara.
In the same context, the Pakistani government said today, Sunday, that the prime minister wrote a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg requesting that any Islam-intimidating content be banned on the social networking site.
My letter to CEO Facebook Mark Zuckerberg to ban Islamophobia just as Facebook has banned questioning or criticizing the holocaust.
- Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) October 25, 2020
In the message - which the government also posted on Twitter - Khan said that "increasing Islamophobia" encourages extremism and violence "around the world," especially on social media platforms such as Facebook.
"I ask you to place a similar ban on Islamophobia and hatred on Facebook as you did for the Holocaust," Khan wrote.
New momentum for boycott calls,
New momentum for boycott calls,
and calls to boycott French goods gained momentum in Islamic countries
The boycott calls and hashtags defending the Holy Prophet, may God bless him and grant him peace, have spread very much on social media.
In Egypt, Macron was mocked by social media users, a list of French brands circulated, and bloggers called for a boycott.
In Kuwait, the Federation of Consumer Cooperative Societies in Kuwait announced a boycott of French products.
The president of the federation, Fahd Al-Kashti, told Reuters that the union asked all cooperative societies in Kuwait to boycott French products in these associations, "a victory for the Messenger Muhammad, may God bless him and grant him peace."
He added, "All French products have been removed from all associations." The shelves of cooperative societies visited by Reuters on Saturday evening and Sunday morning were empty of French products, and signs reading "boycotting French products" or "Except for God’s Messenger," based on the support of the offensive cartoons of our beloved Prophet Muhammad .. We decided to remove all French products from the market and branches until further notice, in support of our Prophet Muhammad. "
There are at least 75 cooperative societies in Kuwait, with hundreds of branches in various regions of the country, and they are the main outlet for the sale of daily consumables, especially food.
The Federation of Consumer Cooperative Societies in Kuwait announced a boycott of French products (Reuters)
In Qatar, a number of commercial companies and electronic sales services decided to stop selling and marketing French products, and worked to remove them from their websites, in response to the Arab boycott campaign for French goods and products.
Earlier, the Qatari Al Meera Company, one of the most important retail companies in Qatar, announced the withdrawal of French products from all its branches until further notice.
Al-Wajbah Dairy Company tweeted, through a tweet on its official Twitter account, "from the principle of rejecting and denouncing what is published from the offense to our noble Prophet and in defense of him;
A number of delivery company accounts confirmed that deliveries of French products had been stopped.
Qatar University announced the postponement of the French Cultural Week event for an indefinite period, due to recent developments and events related to the insult to Islam and the Prophet Muhammad.