Oct 29, 2020
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Kuwait's boycott of French goods over cartoons expands

Oct 29, 2020

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 Emmanuel Macron defended cartoons insulting Islam.

Boycotts began Friday, and on Wednesday, images showed shelves stripped bare of French food products, perfumes and cosmetics - AFP

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 there will be no backtracking on the decision unless "insults" against the Prophet Mohammed stop.

"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."

Boycotts began Friday, and on Wednesday, images showed shelves stripped bare of French food products, perfumes and cosmetics.

Kishti said that they stopped selling over 2,000 basic items, such as cheese and water.

Macron has strongly defended secular values and the right to mock religion following the murder of a French schoolteacher who had shown his class cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed.

It triggered a call to boycott French goods in some Muslim-majority countries, including Qatar, where workers in the capital were seen last week removing jam and yeast from the shelves.

According to Ahmed al-Thaidy, a professor at Kuwait University's College of Sharia and Islamic Studies, the boycott will likely continue until the "average Muslim feels that France has backed down".

"Any positive statements that are respectful of the Prophet Mohammed, I would imagine will gradually break the boycott," he told AFP.

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