Some critics saw the French foreign ministry’s statement as colonial and provocative.
Rabat – France’s government is urging Arab countries to end the boycott against its products, a campaign that Arabs and Muslims started recently to protest the repeated insults against Islam and the Prophet Muhammad.
On Sunday, the French foreign ministry’s statement used language deemed provocative and “colonial” by thousands of social network users.
French foreign ministry spokeswoman Anes von der Muhl described the calls to boycott French products as “attacks.”
“These calls for boycotts and attacks on our country pushed by a radical minority are baseless and must be stopped immediately,” she said.
Some social network users saw France’s statement as a win after boycott campaigns gained momentum in several countries, while others saw the language France used as “provocative and colonial.”
Several non-governmental corporations in the Middle East and the Gulf started removing French products from their shelves, including Kuwait, Qatar, and Jordan.
The controversy emerged after the gruesome murder of Samuel Paty, a French history teacher who was beheaded by an 18-year-old student from Chechnya on October 16.
French President Emmanuel Macron, who angered Muslims earlier in October by saying “Islam is in crisis worldwide,” stirred backlash with more controversial remarks after the murder.
He said that France “would not give up our cartoons,” saying the murder was done because “Islamists want our future.”
Some local government buildings in the Occitanie region displayed the cartoons publicly during a memorial service Macron led in tribute to Samuel Paty on October 21.
In response, millions of Muslims, including in Morocco, expressed determination to boycott French products to protest the country’s insults against Islam and the Prophet Muhammad.
Several countries also published statements to condemn repeated offenses against Islam and Muslims across the world.
On Sunday, Morocco’s Foreign Ministry said the acts of publishing cartoons insulting Islam and its prophet reflect the “lack of maturity of their perpetrators.”
The ministry argued that “freedom of an individual ends where the freedom of others and their beliefs begins.”
Morocco’s ministry also condemned the murder of Samuel Paty, saying that Morocco denounces “all dark and barbaric acts of violence committed in the name of Islam.”
Morocco also condemned provocations that offend the “sanctity of the Islamic religion.”
The statement echoed that of several other countries, including Jordan, Turkey, and Pakistan, along with regional and global organizations.
Turkish President Tayyip Recep Erdogan asked Macron to have a mental health check, questioning how a leader could use anti-Islam rhetoric that insults millions of his own countrymen.