‘Boycott French Products’ gathers pace on social media over French President Emmanuel Macron’s comments on Islam

After Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan accused French President Emmanuel Macron of attacking Islam and ‘encouraging Islamophobia’, the latter in a veiled response tweeted that the French government respects all differences in “a spirit of peace.”

“We do not accept hate speech and defend reasonable debate. We will always be on the side of human dignity and universal values,” said Macron.

The Pakistan PM had made a scathing attack on Macron days after the French presidentdedicated a high-level ceremonytoSamuel Paty, a teacher who was beheaded for showing students caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad. Macron said the teacher “was killed as Islamists want our future,”as he pledged to fight “Islamistseparatism”thatthreatenedto takehold ofsome Muslimcommunities around France.

Imran joined Turkish President Recep TayyipErdogan, who too criticised Macron for his comments on Islam.

“This is a time when President Macron could have put a healing touch anddenied space to extremists rather than creating further polarization andmarginalization that inevitably leads to radicalization,”Khan wrote on Twitter on Sunday.

“Sadly, President Macron has chosen to deliberately provoke Muslims, including his own citizens, and encouragedthe display of blasphemous cartoons targeting Islam and the Holy Prophet [Muhammad],” he added.

Meanwhile, in many West-Asian countries, the call to boycott French products and ‘more generally demonstrations against France’ are gaining pace on social media. Several Arab trade associations have announced a boycott of French products, in response to recent comments made by Macron. Hashtags such as the #BoycottFrenchProducts in English and the Arabic #NeverTheProphet trended across countries including Kuwait, Qatar, Palestine, Egypt, Algeria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

Khan also appealed to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to ban Islamophobic content on the site, warning of an increase in radicalisation among Muslim.

According to a Reuters report, in a letter, which the Pakistani government posted on Twitter, Imran Khan said that “growing Islamophobia” was encouraging extremism and violence across the world, especially through social media platforms such as Facebook.

“I would ask you to place a similar ban on Islamophobia and hate against Islam for Facebook that you have put in place for the Holocaust,” Khan said.

'Boycott French Products' gathers pace on social media over French President Emmanuel Macron's comments on Islam