Facing Muslim anger, France warns citizens abroad to take caution, avoid gatherings

Published: Updated:
Read Mode
100% Font Size
2 min read

France urged its citizens Tuesday to be cautious and avoid mass gatherings in countries that have announced boycotts of French products in a fast-spreading protest against perceived anti-Muslim bias from Paris.

Muslims have reacted angrily to President Emmanuel Macron’s staunch defense of the right to mock religion following the beheading of a history teacher who had shown his pupils cartoons of the Prophet Mohamed during a class discussion on free speech.

For all the latest headlines follow our Google News channel online or via the app.

Tens of thousands marched Tuesday in the Bangladesh capital Dhaka, while in Syria protesters have burnt pictures of Macron and in Libya they torched French flags.

“In several countries in recent days, there have been calls for a boycott of French products, particularly foodstuff, and more generally calls to protest against France,” the French foreign ministry said on its website.

Workers of a mall move displayed French products to a warehouse in protest against French cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad in Amman. (Reuters)
Workers of a mall move displayed French products to a warehouse in protest against French cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad in Amman. (Reuters)

“It is advisable to avoid areas where demonstrations are held, to stay away from gatherings, and to follow the guidance of the relevant French embassy or consulate,” it added.

“It is recommended to be most vigilant, especially when traveling, and in places frequented by tourists and expatriate communities.”

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has led the charge against Macron, backing calls in the Islamic world to boycott French goods.

Depictions of the Prophet Mohammed are considered offensive by many Muslims, but in France such cartoons have become synonymous with freedom of expression and a proud secular tradition dating back to the Revolution.

In the aftermath of teacher Samuel Paty’s murder, Macron vowed the country “will not give up cartoons.”

Publication of the same drawings had sparked the 2015 massacre of cartoonists and others at the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, the beginning of a spate of deadly terror attacks on French soil.

Earlier this month, Macron had unveiled a plan to defend France’s secular values against a trend of “Islamist separatism,” and described Islam as a religion “in crisis”.

Read more:

Head of Muslim League on Prophet cartoon: We are not against freedoms, only hatred

Saudi Arabia condemns Prophet cartoons, rejects attempts linking Islam to terrorism

Turkey’s Erdogan says European leaders must put end to Macron’s ‘anti-Islam’ agenda

Top Content Trending