After Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan hit out at French President Emmanuel Macron for his alleged Islamophobic comments, Islamists around the world had come forward to boycott French products. The social media campaign is premised on the actions of the French residents to publicly display ‘blasphemous’ Charlie Hebdo cartoons, in the aftermath of the beheading of a 47-year-old history teacher named Samuel Paty in Paris.
Erdogan had lashed out at Macron on October 6 for saying that Islam is in crisis all over the world. He stated, “What is the problem of this person called Macron with Muslims and Islam? Macron needs treatment on a mental level…” The Turkish President further claimed, “What else can be said to a head of state who does not understand freedom of belief and who behaves in this way to millions of people living in his country who are members of a different faith. First of all, have mental checks.”
Following Erdogan’s statement, France recalled its ambassador from Turkey saying that outrage and insult are not method. This has irked the Pakistanis.
Pakistanis lead global online campaign to boycott ‘France’ products
Bolstered by the verbal support of the ‘modern-day Caliph’, Pakistanis took to Twitter to trend #boycottfranceproducts.
Editor of Pakistani publication The News Ansar Abbasi claimed that the entire Islamic world must protest against France and its ‘shameful’ attack on faith of Muslims. He even used ‘MacronGoneMad’ hashtag. Abbasi was quite upset as is evident.
The entire Islamic world should follow Kuwait to protest against France and its latest shameful attack on the faith of Muslims. #boycottfranceproducts #boycottfrance #MacronGoneMad pic.twitter.com/6Ed4u8rrQn— Ansar Abbasi (@AnsarAAbbasi) October 25, 2020
#BoycottFranceProducts— رانا عرفان (@Rana_ISP) October 25, 2020
Sometimes France, sometimes the Netherlands ….. sometimes Norway, sometimes Denmark …… wonder how civilized and civilized countries are where hurting someone is called “freedom of expression” ???@WeTeamISP pic.twitter.com/D5OZQdqS5y
Another Pakistani (@RashkEHina10) claimed that infidels (disbelievers in Islam) support other infidels but not Muslims. Calling for a global blacklisting of French products and the need for Muslims to unite, the Twitter user wrote, “France should be blacklisted- but it will not be done- because the infidel only supports the infidel. So why does the Muslim not support the Muslim? All Muslims should unite and boycott France.”
Another Pakistani Shahid Sheik, who regularly shares tweets of Rahul Gandhi, suggested that the French President had leant Islamophobia from Narendra Modi. While issuing a veiled threat to the French government that blasphemy will not be ‘tolerated’, Sheik commented, “Macron Needs Mental Treatment. Now, I understand from where he learnt Islamophobia. It’s my appeal to #boycottfrenchproducts because blasphemy of My Beloved prophet Muhammad PBUH will not be tolerated anymore.”
Based on a skewed understanding of ‘freedom of speech’, a Twitter handle (@PEF_Schools) from Pakistan claimed that public display of Prophet Muhammad’s cartoons is against humanity and freedom of expression. “It is a deplorable act. (We) demand immediate expelling of France ambassador from Pakistan.”
Calling for unification of Muslims in facilitating boycott of French products throughout the world, Pakistani wrote, “My name is Ahmad Faraz. I am from Pakistan It’s my appeal to all Muslims to #boycottfranceproducts because they did blasphemy of My Beloved Prophet Muhammad PBUH. Replace my name & country with yours and tweet this.” He had uploaded the picture of a banner in which an image of the French president was juxtaposed with the imprint of a shoe.
Another Twitter user named Yousaf Kashif revealed that every Muslim in the world is ready to shun away his life for the sake of Allah and the Prophet. “Every Muslim in this Earth is ready for sacrificing himself for Allah and his prophet peace be upon him, we can do it together and boycott anything French.” The Islamist had also put out a list, sourced from Twitter, highlighting the names of french brands and other companies.
Islam is in crisis all over world, conceded French President
Prior to the beheading case, the French President Emmanuel Macron took the stage at city hall in the Paris suburb of Les Mureaux to deliver one of the most consequential speeches of his career. He stated, “It is Islamic separatism that we have to attack. Islamic separatism is a conscious effort, a politico-religious one. It repeatedly breaks with the values of the Republic and aims to form a counter-society.”
Macron continued, “This takes the form of taking kids out of school, developing sports and cultural communities that become an excuse for teaching principles that do not conform to the laws of the Republic. This indoctrination negates our principles such as equality of men and women and the dignity of the human being.“
The beheading of Samuel Paty
Paty was killed on October 16 by 18-year-old radical Islamist named Abdoullakh Abouyezidovitch A in the Paris suburb of Conflans-Sainte-Honorine for showcasing cartoons of Prophet Muhammad to his students at College du Bois d’Aulne. The terrorist had uploaded the gory pictures of the murder on Twitter, before being shot dead by the French police. It has come to light now that the gruesome attack was the result of doxxing and vitriolic online campaign, led by the father of a 13-year old student of the deceased and the local mosque.
Pakistan loves Turkey
Recently, Pakistan has found fresh love for Turkey especially after the Turkish serial Ertugrul made waves in Pakistan. Imran Khan had claimed that Bollywood has been ‘spoiling’ Pakistanis and had urged all Pakistanis to watch Turkish TV drama Ertugrul instead. The Pakistani government has also called for a translation of the Turkish drama so the Pakistani public understands it better.
There have been reports of Turkey radicalising Indian Muslim youth with help of Pakistan. Soon after, the videos of Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s husband Robert Vadra was found holidaying in Turkey.