Timid here and insultingly there

This paradox is perhaps the closest to describing how the Egyptian media dealt with popular calls for a boycott of French goods, in exchange for a boycott of Turkish goods called by activists supporting the authorities in Saudi Arabia and the UAE, and behind them Egypt.

The calls to boycott French goods and hashtags defending the Prophet Muhammad, may God bless him and grant him peace, spread very much on social media, and a large group of stores in the Arab and Islamic world withdrew French goods in response to the statements of French President Emmanuel Macron regarding the cartoons offensive to the Messenger and Islam.

The paradox in dealing with my boycott calls cast a shadow over the media affiliated with the regime of President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, as they appeared anxious and confused in dealing with the rapid spread of calls to boycott French goods, which turned from mere sweeping calls on social media to a real boycott in which individuals and merchants participated. Great groceries and stores.

The dilemma in which the Egyptian media fell due to the abundant feelings of the Egyptians towards the Prophet, may God’s prayers and peace be upon him, and their refusal to offend him, and the response of a large segment of them to the boycott calls with their various political affiliations, in addition to the non-politicized ones, and even reached Egyptians who are followers of the Christian religion.

Christian activists in Egypt circulated a picture that read "I am a Christian against insulting the Islamic religion" in Arabic and French, in solidarity with Muslims against the statements offensive to Islam, launched by French President Emmanuel Macron.

Al-Sisi's media people did not find a way to distort the boycott calls, except by trying to link them, as usual, with the Muslim Brotherhood and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Similar to the unified text, Egyptian media outlets began to talk about what they described as the true goals of the calls for boycotting French goods, and on top of those alleged goals Turkey’s attempt to divert attention from the calls for boycotting Turkish goods launched by activists affiliated with the Saudi regime, and were keen to promote them by the media in Saudi Arabia, the Emirates and Egypt. .

Last week witnessed an intense media campaign to urge Egyptians to boycott Turkish goods, and broadcasters competed to talk about the benefits of the boycott and its impact on the Turkish authorities.

As for the popular level, there was no impact of the Saudi-Emirati calls on the Egyptian street. On the contrary, social media platforms witnessed a counter-campaign to boycott Turkish goods, and Egyptian activists interacted with it under the hashtag "# Popular Campaign to Support Turkey."

However, Egyptian merchants previously told Al-Jazeera Net that they face - even before the boycott campaign - administrative harassment when importing from Turkey.

Others tried to discourage the enthusiasm of the Egyptians by talking about the futility of the boycott, and that it would not affect the strong French economy, to which the tweeters responded by circulating the French Foreign Ministry’s statement asking Islamic countries not to boycott.

Some of them also tried to empty the boycott calls from their content by talking about the need to distinguish between products manufactured in France and French products manufactured in Egypt in factories where Egyptians work.

But Twitterers mocked all these attempts, stressing that the boycott trend has become sweeping, and he does not pay attention to such attempts.

It seems that the official silence has increased the Egyptian media’s anxiety and confusion about the crisis of the offensive cartoons and calls for boycott. Despite 13 Arab and Islamic countries condemning hate and insulting speeches, Cairo has not issued an official response yet.

But the Sheikh of Al-Azhar, Ahmed Al-Tayeb, faced the crisis at its beginning with several tweets denouncing the offensive cartoons and responding to the abuse of the French President, and the reaction of the Sheikh of Al-Azhar escalated to the announcement of the Council of Muslim Elders - Monday - his intention to file a lawsuit against the French newspaper "Charlie Hebdo". Which published the cartoons offensive, as well as against everyone who offends Islam and its holy symbols.

The council, chaired by the Sheikh of Al-Azhar, said that it "firmly rejects the use of the free expression banner to insult the Prophet of Islam, Muhammad and the sanctities of the Islamic religion."