(CNN)Calls are rising in components of the Muslim world to boycott French items in protest after President Emmanuel Macron publicly defended cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed, that are thought-about blasphemous in Islam.
Macron made the remarks final week at a tribute to the murdered highschool instructor Samuel Paty, who was beheaded earlier this month throughout a terror assault in a northern suburb of Paris.
Paty was killed after he confirmed cartoons of the prophet throughout a category on freedom of expression.
Macron mentioned that France wouldn’t “surrender” the caricatures and pledged to sort out excessive Islamism within the nation, sparking demonstrations and triggering boycotts in Muslim-majority international locations.
“I’m calling on the folks, don’t go close to French items, don’t purchase them,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan mentioned Monday throughout a speech within the capital Ankara. “European leaders should say ‘cease’ to Macron and his marketing campaign of hatred.”
In Kuwait, a non-governmental chain of hypermarkets mentioned that over 50 of its shops deliberate to boycott French merchandise. A boycott marketing campaign can be underway in Jordan, the place some grocery outlets hung indicators declaring that they weren’t promoting French items.
A spread of shops in Qatar are doing the identical, together with grocery store chain Al Meera, which has greater than 50 branches within the Arab nation. Qatar College additionally mentioned that it was suspending its French Cultural Week indefinitely.
Paty’s homicide has reignited tensions surrounding secularism, Islamism and Islamophobia in France, however public anger in Islamic international locations over the Macron’s dealing with of the assault threatens to make it a diplomatic and financial situation too.
In a press release issued on Sunday, France’s overseas ministry referred to as the boycotts of its merchandise “unjustified,” and demanded that they “finish instantly.”
The ministry mentioned the response distorted the President’s remarks for political goals, and that “the positions defended by France [were] in favor of freedom of conscience, freedom of expression, freedom of faith and the refusal of any name to hatred.”
The assertion added that Macron’s insurance policies had been geared toward “preventing towards radical Islamism, and to take action with the Muslims of France, who’re an integral a part of French society, historical past and the Republic.”
“We is not going to give in, ever,” Macron mentioned on Twitter Sunday. “We respect all variations in a spirit of peace. We don’t settle for hate speech and defend cheap debate. We are going to all the time be on the facet of human dignity and common values.”
Paty’s dying has sparked a safety crackdown in France, the place officers are concentrating on hate speech on social media and organizations and non-profits with potential hyperlinks to Islamism.
The Mohammed caricatures that Paty utilized in his class initially appeared in Charlie Hebdo, and had been cited because the motivation for a terror attack on the satirical journal in 2015 that left 12 folks lifeless. Macron fiercely defended the appropriate to show such cartoons in France on the memorial occasion for Paty.
France will preserve “loving debates, cheap arguments, we’ll love science and its controversies,” the French chief mentioned. “We is not going to surrender caricatures, drawings, even when others are retreating.”
Jordan, Pakistan, Egypt and Iran are among the many Islamic international locations to sentence France for the publication of the caricatures, and Macron’s response.
“We condemn publication of satirical cartoons depicting Prophet Mohammed,” Ayman Al-Safadi, Jordan’s overseas minister, tweeted on Saturday.
Pakistan’s chief Imran Khan, Egypt’s highest spiritual authority, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, and Iran’s overseas ministry have additionally all criticized France.
However fellow European leaders spoke out in assist of Macron, together with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose spokesperson swiftly condemned Erdogan’s feedback on Monday.
German International Minister Heiko Maas mentioned Berlin stood in solidarity with Paris. The leaders of Greece and Austria have additionally expressed assist for Macron.
Pierre Bairin in Paris, Chris Liakos and Sarah Dean in London, Nadine Schmidt in Berlin and Mostafa Salem in Abu Dhabi contributed to this report.