No baguettes: French cartoon drives Muslim world crazy

October 27, 2020 by Baruch Yedid - TPS
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A cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad, published by the famous French magazine Charlie Hebdo and which was projected on huge screens across France, has provoked a wide-ranging wave of protests in Muslim countries, a boycott of French products.

Protest in the town of Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, against the French satirical weekly magazine, Charlie Hebdo, which features cartoons of Islam’s Prophet Mohammed. Rafah, Oct 24, 2020. Photo by Majdi Fathi/TPS

It has also created a dispute between French President Emmanuel Macron and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who are already in conflict over French policy against the separatism of Muslim communities across the country.

Erdogan attacked Macron on Saturday, saying “he needs mental health care because of his approach to Islam.”

“What’s this man Macron’s problem with Muslims and Islam,” Erdogan asked in a speech to the ruling party.

In response, Paris recalled its ambassador from Ankara and threatened Erdogan with sanctions.

The French Foreign Ministry appealed to Arab countries to stop the boycotts of French products in markets. France has also been the subject of widespread cyber attacks against government and financial institutions in recent days, and suspicion has fallen on Turkey.

In recent weeks, mosques and offices of Islamic entities throughout France have been closed due to their support for the autonomy of Muslim communities, and Macron has stated that Islam is a “religion in crisis around the world.”

The beheading of 47-year-old Samuel Paty, who taught both history and geography at a school in the Paris suburb of Conflans-Sainte-Honorine and was killed after showing his students cartoons of Muhammad raised the level of tension between the French and Muslims.

Meanwhile, protests are spreading across the Arab world and in Muslim countries and are gaining momentum, mainly on social media.

In Bahrain, demonstrations took place against Macron and a number of Arab celebrities came out against the publications in France. Hundreds of citizens gathered in a number of cities in Bahrain on Sunday to protest against the French president’s recent remarks against Muslims and carried posters that read “Macron is playing with fire.”

Miriam al-Thani, a Qatari social media activist, wrote that Muslims, numbering 1.9 billion worldwide, should not be underestimated and that their boycott of France and its products would affect its economy to the point that “the ignorant president will learn the lesson.”

In 2006, a similar boycott was declared on Denmark due to the publication of cartoons that harmed the character of the Prophet Muhammad and caused hundreds of millions of dollars in damage to its economy.

The Emirate artist Ahlam expressed resentment and anger at Macron’s remarks and tweeted in her account a picture of a macaroon with shoe marks on its face.

The Egyptian football player Muhammad Abu Turki is also calling for a boycott of France and the Al-Qadsia football team from Kuwait waved a sign praising the prophet before starting the game.

In Morocco and Egypt, newspapers condemned the insulting French displays.

Pictures of Macron were placed in front of a restaurant in Kuwait and those entering were forced to step on it.

In dozens of businesses in Kuwait, Qatar, Libya, Turkey and eastern Jerusalem, signs reading “French goods are banned here” were placed on empty shelves which used to have French products on them.

A jihadist rebel group that controls the Idlib area in Syria also attacked France following the insult to the Prophet and banned the import of goods from France into its province.

A procession took place in eastern Jerusalem on Sunday during which the demonstrators chanted slogans condemning the French and praising the Prophet. One of the bakeries in Wadi Jouz in joined the boycott and refused to sell baguettes and cheeses made in France.

In Umm al-Fahm in northern Israel, a building of the Clalit Health Fund was illuminated with slogans in favor of the Prophet.

It should be noted that a string of protests in the Muslim world is pushing to the margins the shocking incident of the beheading of the French teacher about 10 days ago by a Muslim of Chechen descent, as well as and the stabbing of two French journalists from Chalie Hebdo recently by a Muslim of Pakistani origin.


One Response to “No baguettes: French cartoon drives Muslim world crazy”
  1. Lynne Newington says:

    Pushing the bar too high expecting no retaliation……..totally unnecessary and provocative.

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