The hashtag #BoycottFrenchproducts and #BoycottFrance have been trending recently in many Muslim-majority and Arab countries across the world. The worldwide anger from Muslims comes following claims by the French president, Emmanuel Macron, where he defended the infamous cartoons that are offensive and insulting to the Prophet Muhammad.
After backlash happened in France over the murder of a French teacher by a Muslim teenager, Macron made it clear he will not give up on the cartoons that humiliate the prophet. He reported they are considered “free speech” and that he will stand against terrorism and anyone opposing their freedom of speech.
In Egypt, people made lists of French products and their alternatives including cosmetics, food, and even drugs. Some doctors opted to only prescribe non-French drugs, and made sure to tell their patients they will not be prescribing French drugs to raise awareness.
A big range of stores and chains have emptied the shelves where they had French products, and put up signs saying they did this in support of the prophet. Other countries have completely boycotted French gas stations like Total and all French markets like Carrefour. In Egypt, people made lists of French products and their alternatives including cosmetics, food, and even drugs. Some doctors opted to only prescribe non-French drugs, and made sure to tell their patients they will not be prescribing French drugs to raise awareness.
Although many people have doubted the movement and denied it will be effective in any way, the French foreign ministry has urged Arab countries to quell calls for boycott saying: “In numerous countries of the Middle East, calls to boycott French products…and more generally, calls to demonstrate against France, in sometimes hateful terms, have been relayed on social media.” They added that these calls “denature” their position on free speech and freedom of expression.