DOHA: A major campaign has started in Qatari social media calling for the boycott of French products in protest against the rising Islamophobia in France, allegedly spearheaded by President Emmanuel Macron.
Reacting to the public mood, Al Meera, the largest supermarket chain in Qatar with 52 branches, said that it has withdrawn French products from all its branches.
The products will stay off the shelves until further notice.
“Thanks for your remarks which always guide us to achieve excellence,” tweeted Al Meera.
“We would like to assure you that Al Meera as a national company is working according to our religious norms, culture and tradition and in a way which serve our country, beliefs and meet aspirations of customers,” it said.
The hashtag calling for the boycott of French products was trending in Qatar, with several citizens voicing their anger and frustration at the official sanction for Islamophobia in France, with Macron himself taking the lead.
There were also calls to boycott Carrefour, the French supermarket chain, in Qatar.
Qatar University (QU) said it has decided to postpone the French Cultural Week for an indefinite period in response to the campaign.
“In this regard, the university administration affirms that any prejudice to the Islamic faith, sanctity and symbols is completely unacceptable, as these offences harm the universal human values and the high moral principles that all contemporary societies affirm,” said QU on its Twitter account.
The boycott campaign across the Arab world follows the killing of French teacher Samuel Paty by an 18-year-old student from Chechnya, over caricatures of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH).
Most Arabs, including people in Qatar, have condemned the heinous killing, but oppose France’s crackdown on mosques and the Muslim community following the murder.
Macron also angered Muslim communities when he said Islam is “in crisis” across the world. In response, Muslims launched a virtual campaign to condemn France’s approach against Islam.
Two French Muslim women, wearing hijab, were stabbed near the Eiffel Tower in a racist incident after the history teacher’s murder.