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Saudi condemns French cartoons abusive to Muslims, but does not support boycott

Palestinians gather in front of French Cultural Institute to protest against President of France Emmanuel Macron over his anti-Islam remarks in Gaza on 27 October 2020 [Mustafa Hassona/Anadolu Agency]

Saudi Arabia has condemned the French cartoons abusing Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) but has not supported the campaign to boycott French products, Reuters reported yesterday.

Saudi officials said in a statement that the kingdom condemns all acts of terrorism, referring, according to Reuters, to the beheading of French teacher who displayed insulting cartoons of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) to his students.

The statement reads: "Freedom of expression and culture should be a beacon of respect, tolerance and peace that rejects practices and acts which generate hatred, violence and extremism and are contrary to coexistence."

The cartoons have since been displaced on government buildings in apparent solidarity with the teacher. This has led to a global call for Muslims to boycott French companies and products.

READ: France demands Arab countries prevent boycott of French business over insults of Prophet

No Arab states have backed the boycott; however many goods have been removed from the shelves of supermarkets in Qatar and Kuwait. While the mufti of Oman yesterday called on Muslims to shun French products and protect Islam and its prophet.

Saudi Arabia's daily Arab News yesterday cited the head of the Saudi-based Muslim World League, Mohammed Al-Issa, as cautioning that an over-reaction "that is negative and goes beyond what is acceptable" would only benefit "haters".

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