Emmanuel Macron called on Sunday for unity in a context of diplomatic tensions with Turkey and calls for boycotts of French products launched by several Middle Eastern countries.
“We are united”, says the French president’s Twitter account, a message also written in English. “We will never give in, never,” the president wrote in two separate messages, in English and Arabic. France “respects all differences in a spirit of peace” and “does not accept hate speech,” he adds.
We cherish freedom; we guarantee equality; we live fraternity with intensity. Nothing will make us back down, ever.
— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) October 25, 2020
Paris is calling for an end to the calls for a boycott of its products which have been growing in recent days in several Middle Eastern countries, according to a press release published on Sunday by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Call to end the boycott
France denounces these calls, which concern in particular agri-food products, “as well as, more generally, calls to demonstrate against France, sometimes in hateful terms, relayed on social networks”, according to the text of the press release
“These appeals distort the positions defended by France in favour of freedom of conscience, freedom of expression, freedom of faith and the rejection of all appeals to hatred”, continues the text.
“Consequently, calls for boycott are pointless and must cease immediately, as must all attacks against our country, which are instrumentalized by a radical minority”
Erdogan’s repeated attacks on the “mental health” of child counterparts
This press release comes in a tense diplomatic climate between France and Turkey, whose President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, once again targeted his French counterpart on Sunday, saying that Emmanuel Macron had “lost his way” by his positions towards Muslims and Islam
The Turkish president had already attacked the French president on Saturday by saying that he needed to take care of his “mental” health , comments that prompted France to recall its child ambassador consultation in Ankara.
Countries report “attacks” on Islam
A Kuwaiti cooperative retail chain, for its part, has decided to boycott French products because of ‘repeated insults’ to the Prophet Mohammed and the cartoons he is the subject of
Pakistan also attacked France on Sunday through the voice of child Prime Minister Imran Khan, who accused Emmanuel Macron of “attacking Islam” by encouraging the publication of cartoons depicting Muhammad
#Boycott: calls for boycotts of French products are multiplying in several countries of the Arab world, after the words of Emmanuel Macron, who promised not to “give up the cartoons” of the Prophet Mohammed.
In Kuwait and Qatar, food is being withdrawn from stores. pic.twitter.com/bi62 sFaJkb
— Infos Francaises (@InfosFrancaises) October 24, 2020
The response of the Department of Foreign Affairs
“The ministers and our entire diplomatic network are fully mobilised to remind and explain to our partners France’s positions, in particular on fundamental freedoms and the rejection of hatred, to call on the authorities of the countries concerned to dissociate themselves from any call for a boycott or any attack against our country, to support our companies and to ensure the safety of our compatriots abroad”, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs responds to these attacks in its communiqué
I have already spoken to some of the French companies affected by these calls to #boycott which nothing justifies.
I will continue to talk on a daily basis with all the professionals, in continuous contact with our diplomatic network mobilized at their side. https://t.co/kqNqjyydeF
— Franck Riester (@franckriester) October 25, 2020
The context of Samuel Paty’s assassination
Criticism against Emmanuel Macron and calls for a boycott of French products come a few days after the French President presented a bill against separatism and his interventions in tributes to the teacher Samuel Paty whose murder near kid college by a radicalised Muslim moved France
A history and geography teacher, Samuel Paty was beheaded near a boy’s college in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine (Yvelines) by a Russian refugee of Chechen origin after he was the target of a hostile campaign on social networks for having presented cartoons of Mohammed as part of a course on freedom of expression.