Rabat – Hafiz Chems-Eddine, the head of the Grand Mosque of Paris, shared his position regarding the decision of millions of Arabs and Muslims to boycott French products.
Chems-Eddine opposes the campaign, saying the people leading the call to boycott are manipulating Islam for political purposes.
“I strongly condemn the calls to boycott French products. They emanate from those who have always used Islam for political ends,” the head of the Grand Mosque of Paris said on Twitter on Monday.
He also called for the “vigilance of all Muslims in the face of this false propaganda aimed at discrediting our country, France.”
The Grand Mosque of Paris is one of the largest mosques in France.
The statement aligns with France’s condemnation of the boycott of French products.
The French foreign ministry called the incitement of the boycott an attack by a “radical minority” amid anger from Muslims due to insults against Islam and Prophet Muhammad.
Some government buildings in the Occitanie Region, in southern France, displayed on their facade Charlie Hebdo’s offensive cartoons of Prophet Muhammad in tribute to murdered French teacher Samuel Paty.
On October 16, a student from Chechnya beheaded the teacher for using the cartoons during a freedom of expression lesson.
Several Muslim countries officially denounced the murder, but also expressed condemnation against controversial remarks from President Emmanuel Macron.
Following the murder, Macron said France “would not give up our cartoons.”
He added that the murder occurred because “Islamists want our future.”
The statement angered millions of Arabs and Muslims across the world, with several heads of state responding strongly to Macron.
Turkish President Tayipp Erdogan, who called on Turks to boycott French products, slammed the French president.
Erdogan asked Macron to have a mental check, questioning how a leader could use anti-Islam rhetoric that insults millions of his own people.
Several other public figures, organizations, and officials consider Macron’s statement as encouraging the spread of Islamophobia in France.
As of mid-2016, there were approximately 5.7 million Muslims in France, representing 8.8% of the country’s population, according to Pew Research.
Countries such as Kuwait, Qatar, Morocco, and Jordan also condemned the use of the cartoons of Prophet Muhammad, the depiction of whom is deeply insulting to Islam and its followers.
Morocco’s foreign ministry said on Sunday that these acts “reflect the lack of maturity of their perpetrators.”
“Freedom of an individual ends where the freedom of others and their beliefs begins,” the ministry stressed.
Morocco’s foreign ministry said freedom of expression cannot justify provocations and attacks on Islam under any circumstances.
Morocco also condemned the gruesome murder of Samuel Paty.
“Insofar as the kingdom of Morocco condemns all dark and barbaric acts of violence committed in the name of Islam, it denounces these provocations that offend the sanctity of the Islamic religion,” the statement of the foreign ministry stressed.