Turkey calls new caricature ‘loathsome’ and ‘Islamophobic’ as protests and calls to boycott French goods continue.
The rift between Muslim nations and France is growing after French President Emmanuel Macron said earlier this month that Islam was a religion in “crisis”.
Tension escalated after French teacher Samuel Paty was killed on October 16 near his school in broad daylight. He had shown caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad to his students. Since the crime, French officials were perceived as linking the killing to Islam.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has criticised Macron, saying the French leader needed “mental checks” over his attitude towards Islam.
Top officials in the Muslim world have condemned France and Macron, including Pakistan, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and Iran; while tens of thousands have attended protests and called for a boycott of French goods.
Tensions heated further on Wednesday after the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo published a new caricature depicting Erdogan. In response the Turkish president has threatened to sue the magazine.
Kuwait’s boycott of French goods over cartoons expands
Kuwait’s boycott of French products has expanded, with a leading chain saying Wednesday that most of its stores had stripped their shelves after President Macron defended cartoons insulting Islam.
Kuwait’s Union of Consumer Co-operative Societies said 60 of its 69 stores had pulled French-made products, with the rest of the establishments to “soon” follow suit.
Fahd al-Kishti, head of the union, told AFP news agency there will be no backtracking on the decision unless “insults” against Prophet Muhammad stopped.
“There will be increased pressure in the coming days in case of any provocation,” he said. “We will stop marketing all products and brands owned by the French, or those to which the French contribute.
Iran’s Khamenei says Macron’s support for Prophet cartoons ‘stupid act’
Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has called the French president’s defence of cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad a “stupid act” and an “insult” to those who voted for him.
“Ask [President Macron] why he supports insulting God’s messenger in the name of freedom of expression. Does freedom of expression mean insulting, especially a sacred personage?” Khamenei said in a tweet.
“Isn’t this stupid act an insult to the reason of the people who elected him?” he added.
Turkey summons French envoy over caricatures in Charlie Hebdo weekly
Turkey has summoned the French charge d’affaires over caricatures published in Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine, a statement by Turkish foreign ministry said.
The cartoon on the cover of Charlie Hebdo showed Erdogan sitting in a white T-shirt and underpants, holding a canned drink along with a woman wearing an Islamic hijab. Turkish officials described it as a “disgusting effort”.
Hundreds protest in Somalia over Macron’s defence of caricatures
Demonstrators in Somalia burned the French flag and called for a severing of diplomatic ties with France in protest over President Macron’s defence of cartoons depicting Prophet Muhammad.
Several hundred demonstrators blocked traffic in street protests in the capital Mogadishu, chanting slogans and burning effigies of Macron whose defence of the right to mock religion has ignited anger in much of the Muslim world.
“I don’t normally participate in demonstrations but today I would be ashamed if I did not show my sentiments against this infidel Macron, who supported this insult against our Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him,” said one protester, Hilal Abudrahman.
Another, Ahmed Sheik Mire, said Macron had provoked Muslims everywhere and called for the devout “to show their anger with France”.
“We will continue demonstrating, and we call on the Somali government to suspend its relationship with France as long as Macron is president,” he said.
France dissolves prominent Muslim charity
French authorities have dissolved a prominent Muslim charity as part of a widening government crackdown against organisations accused of having links to extremist groups.
“Barakacity has officially been dissolved,” the charity said in a tweet. “We are doing everything we can to save the interests of our beneficiaries in 26 countries.”
Turkey’s attacks on satirical magazine ‘hateful”, says French gov’t spokesman
Attacks from Turkish officials on French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, which had published a caricature of President Erdogan are “hateful”, French government spokesman Gabriel Attal told reporters at a briefing.
The cartoon on the cover of Charlie Hebdo showed Erdogan sitting in a white T-shirt and underpants, holding a canned drink along with a woman wearing an Islamic hijab. Turkish officials described it as a “disgusting effort”.https://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.419.0_en.html#goog_1115414678Play Video
Turkey’s Erdogan: Attacks on Prophet ‘an issue of honour for us’
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said that Western countries attacking Islam want to “relaunch the Crusades” as the row over cartoons depicting Prophet Muhammad deepens.
Erdogan said in a speech to lawmakers from his AK Party in parliament that standing against attacks on the Prophet Muhammad was “an issue of honour for us.
Rouhani: ‘Insulting the Prophet is insulting all Muslims’
Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani has denounced France’s treatment of Islam, adding that Western support for cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad is unethical and insulting to Muslims.
In a televised cabinet meeting on Wednesday, the president said freedom must be accompanied by a respect for values and consideration of ethics.
“Westerners must understand the great Prophet of Islam is loved by all Muslims and freedom-lovers of the world,” Rouhani said.