Calls by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to boycott French goods can work and produce long-term results against Islamophobia if Muslim countries formulate a state-backed approach in implementing this strategy.
The French political establishment’s deep-seated inferiority complex and hatred of Islam should be utilized as a political steppingstone by Muslim countries to establish a unified strategy in dealing with Islamophobia.
France is no longer even a regional power anymore.
Part of the reason why the French ruling caste spews such venom against Islam and the Prophet (pbuh) is because they see a country, in supposedly enlightened Europe, is producing many Muslim converts.
This phenomenon further arouses a deep-seated inferiority complex in a country that was once a bloodthirsty empire, but now eclipsed into irrelevance.
Almost immediately after President Erdogan called for a boycott of French goods and businesses, many communities and business organizations in the Muslim world responded to his call.
This has forced France to make a public plea to the Muslim world to not boycott its products.
France is not an economic hub of any significance.
Further, due to the adverse effects of the pandemic, its economic standing is much more vulnerable to a boycott.
Therefore, it would not be difficult to put serious economic pressure on a regime which makes Donald Trump look civilized.
For this to materialize, state entities must not merely issue statements and expect the wider Muslim population to follow through.
Muslim governments must formulate specific economic and non-economic policies to implement an effective boycott of France.
These can be in the form of public awareness campaign through advertisements to make the wider public aware of alternatives to French-made products.
Other diplomatic forms of shunning France for its decades-long Islamophobic policies can include imposition of higher visa fees and downgrading diplomatic ties with Paris.
Also, French educational institutions in the Muslim world should be mandated to teach Islamic courses if they teach or promote secularist dogmas and French culture in any shape or form.
French flags should not be displayed publicly until France institutes serious policies combating Islamophobia in France.
France is not China, the US or Germany. It can be pressured economically with some efforts.
France’s blatant anti-Islamic policies will make it easy to galvanize broad Muslim support but there has to be state backing for such a policy to succeed.
Without state support, the boycott will not have long-term effect.
It is time France’s despicable anti-Muslim policies camouflaged as ‘free speech’ are made to carry some consequences.