Policy

Retail co-ops of the Kuwait eliminated French products


Retail co-ops of Kuwait have removed French products in boycott after the exposition of representations of the Prophet Mohammed in a French school class on freedom of expression whose teacher was later decapitated by an Islamist.

Indeed, the non-governmental Union of Consumer Co-operative Societies that assembles more than 70 establishments published, in a circular, the boycott directive on October 23.

Reuters visited on Sunday many co-ops that have cleared the shelves of matters such as hair and beauty products made by French companies.

Union head Fahd Al-Kishti informed Reuters that all French products have been removed from all Consumer Cooperative Societies, and added that this move was in response to repeated insults against the Prophet and had been decided independently of the government of Kuwait.

The co-ops, which some of them have the size of hypermarkets, carry government-subsidized staples for Kuwaitis and constitute a big part of retail in the country, as well as organizing certain educational courses and recreational activities.

Muslims consider that any depiction of the Prophet as blasphemous. The Organization of Islamic Cooperation on Friday denounced the inhuman murder that has happened in France however it also criticized the justification for blasphemy-based harassment of any religion in the name of freedom of expression.

Moreover, foreign minister of Kuwait, who gathered the French ambassador on Sunday, denounced the October 16 killing and considered it as horrendous crime, but he also affirmed the need to avoid insulting religion in official and political remarks that inflame hatred, enmity and racism, as the ministry said in a tweet.

According to Reuters calculations based on data from Kuwait’s Central Statistics bureau, the imports of Kuwait from France reached at 255 million dinars ($834.70 million) in 2019, and 83.6 million dinars in the first half of 2020,

Otherwise, in Saudi Arabia that constitutes the Arab world’s largest economy, a hashtag that call for the boycott of French supermarket retailer Carrefour was the second most trending on Sunday.

Furthermore, after a Danish paper first circulated the cartoons in 2005, the Islamic world have protested and boycotted the Danish goods. The event of decapitation in a Paris suburb carried echoes of the Islamist attack in 2015 on the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo after it republished the cartoons.

France recalled its ambassador to Turkey on Saturday after Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan reported that his counterpart Emmanuel Macron, who this month declared war on Islamist separatism, needed mental help about his attitude towards Muslims.

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