The scope of calls for a boycott of French goods has expanded in many Arab and Islamic countries, in response to what was considered an offense by French President Emmanuel Macron of the Prophet Muhammad, may God bless him and grant him peace.
Commenting on these calls, Macron said - in his tweet in Arabic on Twitter - that nothing makes him ever back down, and he respects all differences in the spirit of peace, and never accepts what he called the hate speech.
The French Foreign Ministry 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 over 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."
Calls to boycott French goods gained momentum in Islamic countries, as calls for boycotting and hashtags in defense of the Holy Prophet, peace be upon him, spread very widely 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 Cooperatives 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, "a victory for the Prophet Muhammad, may God bless him and grant him peace."
He added, "All French products have been removed from all associations," and 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 the Messenger of God." 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 (supermarkets) 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.
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-Wajba dairy company tweeted 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, we announce our joining the campaign to boycott French products, and we also pledge to provide similar and alternative products to dairy products within a short period."
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 indefinitely, due to recent developments and events related to insulting Islam and the Prophet Muhammad, while the Student Representative Council expressed its deep dissatisfaction with the continued publication of the cartoons offensive to the Prophet Muhammad, may God bless him and grant him peace.
Move in Kuwait
Yesterday, Kuwait called on France to stop insulting religions and prophets in official speeches.
Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Ahmed Nasser Al-Muhammad Al-Sabah informed the French ambassador to his country, Anne Claire Le Jendre, of "the necessity of stopping offenses against all divine religions and the prophets, peace be upon them, in some official speeches."
The minister indicated - according to the official Kuwait News Agency - that his country rejected any policies that would link the tolerance of Islam with terrorism.
For his part, Morocco condemned - yesterday, Sunday - the "persistence" in publishing cartoons insulting to Islam and the Messenger, and "which reflect the lack of maturity of their authors."
A Foreign Ministry statement pointed out that "Morocco strongly condemns the persistence in publishing cartoons insulting to Islam and to the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him."
The Kingdom expressed its "condemnation of these acts, which reflect the lack of maturity of the perpetrators."
The statement affirmed that "the freedom of the individual ends when the freedom of others and their beliefs begins." "Freedom of expression - for any reason - cannot justify the provocation and offensive attacks on the Islamic religion, to which more than two billion people owe it."
In Lebanon, the Secretary General of Dar Al Iftaa called on Amin Al-Kurdi to boycott French goods, commenting on the continued publication of the cartoons offensive to the Prophet.
"I call on all the free people in Lebanon and the world to continue the campaign to boycott French goods, until the aggressors against our Messenger Muhammad, peace be upon him, return from their aggression and aggression," Kurdish said.
In Saudi Arabia, the Council of Senior Scholars (official) stressed in a statement that “insulting the shrines of the Prophets and Messengers, may blessings and peace be upon them, is not related to freedom of expression and thinking,” without directly addressing France or Macron.
Anger in Pakistan
In response to Macron's statements, Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan said - yesterday, 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.
The drawings were displayed on government buildings in France on Friday, 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 come after a similar criticism of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Macron, 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.