Anger spreads in Islamic world after Macron’s backing for Muhammad cartoons

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Calls for boycott of French goods after president’s remarks at tribute to murdered teacher Samuel Paty


A protester in Istanbul holds a picture of Emmanuel Macron, which has been defaced with a shoe print Photograph: Yasin Akgül/AFP/Getty

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Source: Kim Willsher in Paris, for the Guardian

France has appealed for foreign governments to stamp out calls by what it calls a “radical minority” for a boycott of French products after Emmanuel Macron’s public backing of the Muhammad caricatures.

The appeal came as anger escalated across the Islamic world over the president’s remarks at a national tribute to the murdered high-school teacher Samuel Paty last week, with Turkish leader, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, calling on Monday for a complete boycott of French products in Turkey.

Paty, 47, was killed after he showed his class drawings of the prophet during a debate on free speech.

After Macron promised France would not “renounce the caricatures”, a furious riposte that emerged on Friday on social media under Arabic hashtags gained momentum over the weekend.In a strongly worded statement, France’s foreign ministry demanded that calls for a boycott of its products and the “occasionally hateful” protests against the country must end.

“These calls distort the positions defended by France in favour of freedom of conscience, freedom of expression, freedom of religion and the refusal of any call to hatred,” it read.

“Consequently, the calls for boycott are pointless and must cease immediately, as must all attacks against our country, instrumentalised by a radical minority.”

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