A German TV host has called on the public to support France in the row with Muslim countries and buy French products in bulk. Appearing on the heute-show, a satirical late-night programme, Oliver Welke urged his compatriots to empty shelves in stores selling French products in order to spite Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
"Dear friends, dear viewers, I invite you to buy as many French products as possible in the days and weeks to come. Let's rob France, seriously. It's not only delicious but it annoys Erdogan", Oliver Welke said.
Relations between France and Muslim countries, in particular with Turkey, have soured recently following the gruesome murder of a schoolteacher. Samuel Paty, 47, was beheaded by a Chechen immigrant on 16 October. Prior to the attack, Paty had discussed freedom of speech with his pupils and in one of his lessons showed controversial caricatures of the prophet Muhammad from satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. The publication of these caricatures in Charlie Hebdo in 2015 caused uproar and indignation in the Muslim world and resulted in a series of Islamist attacks in France that left 17 people dead and dozens more injured.
Depictions of the prophet Muhammad are prohibited in Islam and satire about the religion is considered blasphemous and is in some countries punishable by death. French media said that Paty and the school received several threats after he started speaking about the Charlie Hebdo case and showing caricatures of the prophet Muhammad.
President Macron has harshly condemned the killing of the teacher, which he described as an "Islamist terrorist attack", and said that Islam is a religion "in crisis". These statements, as well as the decision to project the caricatures onto government buildings in memory of the slain teacher, have caused anger in the Muslim world, with several countries holding large-scale protests, including Bangladesh, Lebanon and Malaysia.
Spokesman for the Jordanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Dhaifallah Al-Fayez said the repeated use of caricatures "represents an insult to the feelings of nearly 2 billion Muslims".
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan denounced Macron’s comments on Islam as a "hate campaign" and called for a boycott of French goods. Erdogan said Muslims are now "subjected to a lynch campaign similar to that against Jews in Europe before World War II" and claimed Macron needs "mental checks".
Following the Turkish leader’s comments and the large-scale protests against France, there have been several attacks both inside and outside France. A Tunisian immigrant stabbed three people to death in the French city of Nice on 29 October. That same day, a person stabbed a guard near the French Consulate in Saudi Arabia. On Saturday, a man shot a Greek Orthodox priest in Lyon, France.