Statement from the Saudi foreign ministry official as reported by the news agency SPA Tuesday (27/10/2020) mentioned that the government “condemned the offensive filming related to the Apostle of the ummah Islam, Muhammad … or other prophets. “
The kingdom also “rejects attempts to link Islam and terrorism,” the statement said, adding that it “condemns all forms of terrorism, whoever it is.”
The Saudis also said that “freedom of thought and cultural freedom are things that must be upheld by mutual respect, tolerance and peace.”
But the Saudis did not name France in the statement.
Criticism was also issued by Qatar and Morocco as well Turkey.
The criticism came after President Macron said his country would not stop publishing or discussing cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad, a week after the teacher’s beheading. Samuel Paty.
The history teacher shows the students cartoons in a lesson on freedom of expression.
Macron’s statement caused a wave of criticism and protests in a number of countries including Iraq, Palestine, Libya and Syria.
His statement also raised calls for a number of countries to boycott French products.
“Now I call on our nation, as has happened in France not to buy Turkish brands, so I call on my people here and from now on: don’t pay attention to goods labeled French, don’t buy these things,” Erdogan said in a televised address on Monday (26/10/2020).
President Erdogan also called on the European Union to limit Macron’s so-called anti-Islam agenda.
Boycotts of French products have occurred in several Middle Eastern countries as a form of protest against President Emmanuel Macron’s defense of the right to show cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.
The French government has also asked for the boycott to end.
The French Foreign Ministry said the “baseless” calls for the boycott were “driven by a radical minority group”.
The “Wine Country” products have been recalled from shops in Kuwait, Jordan and Qatar.
The negative reaction stemmed from Macron’s comments after the murder of a teacher who displayed cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad in class.
The president said the teacher, Samuel Paty, was “killed because Islamists want our future”, but France “will not give up our cartoons”.
Depictions of the Prophet Muhammad can be very offensive to Muslims because Islamic tradition explicitly prohibits images of Muhammad and Allah.
But state secularism – or secularism – is the center of national identity. Limiting freedom of expression to protect the feelings of one particular community, according to the state, undermines unity.
On Sunday, Macron reiterated his defense of French values in a tweet that read: “We will not give up, forever.”
Political leaders in Turkey and Pakistan have angered Macron, accusing him of disrespecting “freedom of belief” and marginalizing millions of Muslims in France.
On Sunday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, for the second time, that Emmanuel Macron should carry out a “mental health check” regarding his views on Islam.
How extensive is the boycott of French products?
“Wine Country” products were unloaded from supermarket shelves in Jordan, Qatar and Kuwait on Sunday. French-made beauty and hair care products, for example, are no longer on display.
In Kuwait, a major retail union has ordered a boycott of goods in neighboring Britain.
The Union of Consumers Cooperative Societies, which is a non-governmental union, said it had issued a directive in response to “repeated insults” against the Prophet Muhammad.
In a statement, the French Foreign Ministry acknowledged the move.
He wrote: “This call for a boycott is unfounded and must be stopped immediately, along with all attacks on our country, which are being driven by radical minorities.”
On the internet, calls for a similar boycott in other Arab countries, such as Saudi Arabia, have circulated.
The hashtag calling for a boycott of French supermarket chain Carrefour is the second most trending topic in Saudi Arabia, the largest economy in the Arab world.
Meanwhile, small-scale anti-French rallies were held in Libya, Gaza and northern Syria, where the Turkish-backed militias control.
Citing Turkish statistics, news agencies Reuters reported France was recorded as the 10th largest exporter to Turkey. The state company’s Renault car is reportedly one of the best-selling vehicles in Turkey.
Why is France involved in this dispute?
Macron’s strong defense of national secularism and criticism of radical Islam following Paty’s assassination has angered some figures in the Muslim world.
President Erdogan asked in his speech: “What is the problem with the individual named Macron with Islam and Muslims?”
Meanwhile, Pakistani leader Imran Khan accused the French leader of “attacking Islam, clearly without understanding anything about it”.
“President Macron has attacked and hurt the sentiments of millions of Muslims in Europe and around the world,” he said in a tweet.
Earlier this month, before the teacher’s assassination, Macron announced a stricter draft law to address what he called “Islamic separatism” in France.
He said the Muslim minority in France – made up of some six million people – had the potential to form a “rival society”. He described Islam as a religion “in crisis”.
Amid attacks from a number of countries, France received support from Germany.
“President Erdogan’s personal attack on President Macron in my opinion is a bad moment and unacceptable. What is important is that we show solidarity with France in fighting Islamic extremists, especially after last week’s horrific acts of terrorism,” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told reporters. Monday.
Cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad have a dark and intense political legacy in France.
In 2015, 12 people were killed in an attack on the offices of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, which published the cartoon.
Some of Western Europe’s largest Muslim communities have accused Macron of trying to suppress their religion and say his campaign risks legitimizing Islamophobia.
What is the relationship between France and Turkey?
President Erdogan’s calls to boycott French products came after months of tensions between the two countries.
Although both countries are members of the North Atlantic Defense Forces (NATO), they support the opposing parties in the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, as well as in the civil war in Libya.
President Macron has also clashed with President Erdogan over oil and gas exploration by Turkey in contested waters in the Mediterranean. France then fielded fighter planes and frigates in August amid tensions.
The boycott call was also issued a day after Erdogan said Macron needed a “mental health check” for his strong views on Islam.
Erdogan’s comments prompted France to summon its ambassador in Ankara for consultations.