France has urged Middle Eastern countries to end calls for a boycott of its goods in protest at President Emmanuel Macron’s defence of the right to show cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ).
The president said the teacher, Samuel Paty, “was killed because Islamists want our future”, but France would “not give up our cartoons”.
But state secularism – or laïcité – is central to France’s national identity. Curbing freedom of expression to protect the feelings of one particular community, the state says, undermines unity.
On Sunday, Mr Macron doubled down on his defence of French values in a tweet that read: “We will not give in, ever. We respect all differences in a spirit of peace. We do not accept hate speech and defend reasonable debate. We will always be on the side of human dignity and universal values.”
In a statement, the French foreign ministry acknowledged the moves, writing: “These calls for boycott are baseless and should stop immediately, as well as all attacks against our country, which are being pushed by a radical minority.”
Germany expressed “solidarity” with Mr Macron after the Turkish president’s comments, with government spokesman Steffen Seibert calling the remarks “defamatory” and “completely unacceptable” and foreign minister Heiko Maas calling Mr Erdogan’s personal attacks “a particular low point”.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said the Netherlands “stands firmly with France and for the collective values of the European Union”, while Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte also expressed his “full solidarity” with Mr Macron.
“Personal insults do not help the positive agenda that the EU wants to pursue with Turkey,” he wrote in a tweet.
None of these European leaders appear capable of seeing the sick irony in them protesting the personal insults against Macron, which are entirely as a result of him promoting the continued personal insults against the Prophet Muhammad, on whom are Allah’s blessings and peace.
What is completely unacceptable and defamatory are the repeated arrogant publishing and displaying of the cartoons which depict the Prophet (ﷺ) in a derogatory way. The fact that Muslims all over the world call for a boycott of French products is a gesture to show their rejection of the right to insult a Prophet of Allah (ﷺ), as Europeans claim to have, and a symbol of their love for the last and final Messenger to humankind.
It hardly needs to be said that boycotting supermarkets, clothing and hair products will not solve the problem of ardent secularists acting with impunity to spread their vile hate speech whenever they can. Such exports are not the cornerstone on which the French economy rests. However, the boycott also represents a wedge between the ummah of Muhammad (ﷺ) and the defenders of secularism in Muslim countries, including the agent presidents and prime ministers who feigned distress at the French actions, yet feebly called on Macron to respect freedom of belief, but cannot muster the courage to order a comprehensive boycott on France at a state level.
The truth is that the secular ideology that France has adopted is an incredibly weak foundation. It has no intellectual basis that convinces the mind, nor does it agree with human nature. It has been exposed all over the world as a failure that cannot meet the needs of the people, so faith in it is waning exponentially. In their own words; their unity is undermined if they were to prevent the insulting freedom of expression. Which shows the uselessness of freedom as a value, as it divides people and weakens society.
Islam, on the other hand, has a rational belief with proofs that do convince the mind, along with a way of life that does agree with human nature and systems for managing life’s affairs that have a proven track record of being able to satisfy all the people’s basic needs and many of their additional desires as well.
The French elite class who have become rich off of the back of the people, using secularism as an excuse to hold them in line, are fully aware of their hopeless cause, but still try to delay their inevitable decline, so they desperately use every deceitful trick to turn attention away from their own weaknesses, while defaming Islam in the vain hope that it will be less appealing for a while. They hope to create an emotional outrage that overcomes our rationality, even though it can only ever have a temporary effect, like all emotional outbursts. Rationality will always prevail in the end.
Sadly some Muslims, and particularly our secular apologist presidents and prime ministers, succumb to their desire to be popular with the non-Muslim secular elite. They imagine that by showing solidarity with them and calling for their secular ideal of freedom of belief, then they will remain in their favour and be allowed a few more crumbs with which to fulfil their desires.
مَثَلُ الَّذِينَ اتَّخَذُوا مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ أَوْلِيَاءَ كَمَثَلِ الْعَنكَبُوتِ اتَّخَذَتْ بَيْتًا وَإِنَّ أَوْهَنَ الْبُيُوتِ لَبَيْتُ الْعَنكَبُوتِ لَوْ كَانُوا يَعْلَمُون
(The) example (of) those who take from besides Allah protectors (is) like the spider who takes a house. And indeed, the weakest (of) houses (is) surely (the) house (of) the spider, if (only) they know. [Al-Ankabut: 41]
Macron has pitted his secular ideology directly against Islam. We must reject his feeble attempts to divide the Muslim ummah into bad “Islamists” who support Islam as an ideology, and good secular Muslims who stay silent at the oppression of the capitalist elite. We should rise to the challenge, to expose the emptiness of his secular rhetoric, while demonstrating the solidity of the Islamic belief and its resultant way of life.