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Posted On: 24 October 2020 12:13 am
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:22 pm

Some companies in Qatar join boycott of French products and here's why

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Some companies in Qatar have announced the removal of French products from its shelves/inventory until further notice in response to recent events that took place in France. The announcements started Saturday night in Qatar, joining other countries like Kuwait in the boycott of French products.

Note: These are the companies' decisions and not of the government.

Here's a list of the companies that announced so far:

  1. Al Meera Consumer Goods Company
  2. QTamween app
  3. Souq Al Baladi and Qatar Shopping Complex
  4. Al Wajba Factory
  5. Snoonu
  6. Al-Rawnaq
  7. Le Train Bleu Restaurant
  8. Kulud Pharmacy
  9. Al Mercati

*Qatar University also postponed its upcoming French Cultural Week indefinitely and The Qatar University Student Representative Board issued a statement about France's offense to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

What is the story behind this boycotting of French products?

There are a number of hashtags trending to boycott French products in the Muslim world after France closed down a mosque outside Paris after recent events. Over 50 mosques and Islamic organisations/associations have also been raided.

The breaking point was when a French teacher showed his class caricatures of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him), after which the teacher was killed and beheaded by 18-year-old Muslim Moscow-born Chechen refugee who was later shot dead by the police. This action led to a backlash against Islam in France.

While the Muslim community around the world has condemned the murder of the teacher, it is not happy with the way the French government has handled the situation and has not taken any action against the Charlie Hebdo magazine that republished the offensive caricatures in the first place.

French President Emmanuel Macron did not condemn the decision of Charlie Hebdo in republishing the offensive cartoons, and said it was up to the magazine what it did. He vowed measures against what he called “Islamic separatism,” according to a report written by Safaa Kasraoui for the Morocco World News, and even said that Islam was "in crisis", as reported by Al Jazeera.

This upset Muslims around the world and many decided to boycott French products to condemn the approach showed by France against Islam.

[MORE UPDATES] 24 October 2020 8:20 pm

A French cuisine restaurant, Le Train Bleu located in Al Hazm mall also announced on their Instagram that they will replace French ingredients with local ingredients.

[MORE UPDATES] 24 October 2020 3:50 pm

Al Rawnaq also pledged its support to the "boycott French products "campaign. On it's Facebook page, it said:

"We are in the campaign "boycott French products". Our company announces to withdraw all French products from our branches until further notice, and we assure that we, as a national company, work according to a vision that matches with our religion and our traditions and customs and what caters to serve our country and beliefs, and also our customers needs." (roughly translated from Arabic):
Al Meera, Souq Al Baladi, Qatar Shopping Complex removed French products from all branches
Image credit: Al Rawnaq

Qatar University has also postponed its upcoming French Cultural Week indefinitely, according to its Tweet.

In Snoonu's tweet, it has mentioned that it has also joined the list of companies that are "boycotting French products" and stands in solidarity with the Muslim world.

[FURTHER UPDATE] 24 October 2020 10:55 am

Al Wajba has also declared its solidarity with Al Meera, Souq Al Baladi and Qatar Shopping Complex to boycott French products and has also pledged that it will work towards providing similar and alternative dairy and cheese products within a short period of time. This statement was given on the Al Wajba Twitter page:

24 October 2020 12:13 am

Al Meera Consumer Goods Company announced Friday night the removal of all French products from all of its branches until further notice.

This was in response to its customers' call for the boycott of French products after the recent events. In its tweet, it thanked its valued customers for their comments which are "always a beacon of light that shines our way toward excellence."

"We affirm that as a national company, we operate according to a vision consistent with our religion, our established customs and traditions, in a way that serves our country and our beliefs and fulfills the aspirations of our customers."

In addition, Souq Al Baladi and Qatar Shopping Complex have also announced that it pulled all products made in France from its shelves.

Sources: Al Meera, Rawnaq, Qatar University, AlWajba, Snoonu, Morocco World News and Al Jazeera

Cover image: @Khalidjassem74/Twitter