Arab companies boycott French products as outrage grows over Emmanuel Macron’s...

Arab companies boycott French products as outrage grows over Emmanuel Macron’s...
Arab companies boycott French products as outrage grows over Emmanuel Macron’s...
Kuwait’s retail co-operatives have boycotted French products for using cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad in a French free speech school class whose teacher was then beheaded by an Islamist.

In Saudi Arabia, the largest economy in the Arab world, a hashtag calling for a boycott of French supermarket retailer Carrefour was the second most popular trend on Sunday.

The French Foreign Ministry said that in recent days there have been calls for a boycott of French products, especially food, and demonstrations against France over the cartoons in several Middle Eastern countries.

Muslims view any portrayal of the Prophet as blasphemous.

“These calls for boycotts are unfounded and should be stopped immediately, as are all attacks against our country that are being carried out by a radical minority,” the ministry said in a statement on Sunday.

The ministry also urged the authorities to oppose such boycotts in order to help French companies and ensure the safety of French citizens.

In Kuwait, the non-governmental union of consumer cooperatives, which comprises more than 70 institutions, issued the boycott directive on October 23. By Sunday, many companies had cleared their shelves of items such as hair and beauty products from French companies.

Internet users have launched a large-scale campaign to boycott products made in France.

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Union leader Fahd Al-Kishti told Reuters that in response to “repeated insults” against the Prophet, all French products have been removed from all cooperatives and taken independently by the Kuwait government.

The cooperatives, some the size of hypermarkets, carry state-subsidized staple foods and make up a large portion of Kuwait’s retail trade. They also organize some educational courses and leisure activities.

Kuwait’s foreign minister, who met the French ambassador on Sunday, condemned the October 16 murder as a horrific crime but stressed the need not to offend the religion in official and political statements that “spark hatred, hostility and racism,” tweeted the Ministry.

Kuwait’s imports from France totaled $ 1.16 billion in 2019, according to the Kuwait Central Statistics Office.

After a Danish newspaper first published the cartoons in 2005, protests and boycotts against Danish goods spread throughout the Islamic world.

The beheading in a Paris suburb was reminiscent of the 2015 Islamist attack on the offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo after the cartoons were republished.

France called back its ambassador to Turkey on Saturday after Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said his counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, who declared war on “Islamist separatism” earlier this month, needed spiritual help over his stance on Muslims.

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