A strong wave of protests by the Muslims across the world is going on in reaction to recent statements by France’s President Emmanuel Macron, who has supported the publishing of blasphemous cartoons targeting Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). The initiative to boycott french items is picking up pace after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called on his nation to take the step. In the wake of blasphemy by France and subsequent critical situation amid massive protests, Pakistan is also on the go to boycott all French items including the following major brands:
A few people would be having an idea that Carrefour, that was previously known as Hyperstar, is a French Multinational Corporation specialized in retail.
The head office of the Groupe Carrefour is in Boulogne Billancourt in the Paris metropolitan area. Carrefour has its network spreading around in Armenia, Bahrain, China, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, UAE, and several other countries.
It means that if Muslim world would be complete boycotting Carrefour, the French economy is going to suffer at a large scale.
As soon as this information went viral, the people of Pakistan are moving towards declaring a complete boycott on Carrefour.
The ‘Boycott Carrefour’ hashtag is also trending on Twitter and we came across some tweets giving a strong message. Check these out!
Boycott all French products whether bags , cheese , Total energy services , cars peugeot and supermarket Carrefour , they have crossed the real red line and done the unforgivable they wants us to not care about our savior prophet Muhammad peace be upon him#مقاطعة_منتجات_فرنسا pic.twitter.com/XojnvX2ZFy
— Salman77 (@Salman731252347) October 26, 2020
Humble appeal to the Muslims worldwide 🙏
If you love your Prophet ( PBUH ) !
Boycott the Carrefour business hubs everywhere , unless the French govt. kneels down and begs for apology upon their Satanic act.
Boycott French products.#خان_صاحب_سفیر_فرانس_نکالیں@Hum_IVF_Hain pic.twitter.com/g9lnG5mptK
— Rana Saad Sabri (@saad1_official) October 27, 2020
— ShazaDaa (@shazaDaa7) October 26, 2020
The French biscuit brand LU, or Lefèvre-Utile, originated in the mid-19th century. Today it is present in several international markets and is a part of Kraft Foods.
LU is operating at a large level in Pakistan and most of the biscuits are produced under this French brand. While this information is going viral in the wake of present situation following blasphemy by France, people are on the move to boycott LU as well.
French Beauty Products & Perfumes
There are major French beauty brands and perfumes operating in Pakistan including Dior, Channel, Givenchy, Louis Vuitton, Yves Saint Laurent, Lancome, Loreal, and, Garnier.
Under the blasphemy by France, Pakistanis are going to declare boycott of these these products as well.
Why Boycotting International Companies Is Not a Good Idea? – The Response!
As observed, the public sentiment of boycotting French products and brands has become a symbolic situation and an expression of solidarity for Muslims around the world. However, what many are not considering, is the fact that while the intended message may or may not reach the party to whom it is sent, the blind retaliation against multinationals, whether they truly are French or not, is drastically harming our national economy which was just reeling back from the effects of Covid-19 and pushing many to the verge of unemployment again. Taking into consideration boycotting international companies, here we have a point of view elaborated in this regard.
A couple of such instances in the recent commotion are the cases of Carrefour Pakistan and LU biscuit manufacturers, where the said brands being boycotted have specified that they are not French companies, and hence the boycott does not justify the loss being caused to the companies or to Pakistan’s economy itself.
Carrefour Pakistan’s Clarification Statement
In this regard, a company statement of Carrefour Pakistan has made it clear that Carrefour Pakistan is fully under the ownership of UAE-based Majid Al Futtaim. It is operating Carrefour stores in 16 countries across the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. The team at Majid al Futtaim comes from 110 nationalities and it vows to stand the test of time by encouraging respect, tolerance, and understanding of all personal and religious beliefs to promote solidarity across the community.
The statement also states that Carrefour Pakistan has created over 3500 direct and indirect jobs by serving millions of customers annually. The brand sources 99 percent of its products locally while working with more than 700 suppliers and partners across Pakistan to support the local economy. This holds true as Carrefour Pakistan has been expanding its investment footprint in Pakistan even when other MNCs showed reluctance amid the pandemic to create jobs and support the local businesses. The brand has enthusiastically been supporting its associated network of suppliers and allied industries during the recent difficult times our national economy went through.
LU Biscuits Point of View
Similarly, Continental Biscuits Limited which is the manufacturer, distributor, and seller of LU biscuits in Pakistan, has unequivocally denied its connection with France and expressed its pride in operating in the country. The company has created livelihoods for over 4500 families and is further contributing to Pakistan’s economy by exporting its products around the globe.
Therefore, abrupt and unjustified actions to boycott companies create ripples within the foreign investors’ community operating in Pakistan and resonates negatively in the business chambers of other countries as well who are operating in Pakistan. By discouraging foreign investment, we will at the same time be harming our economy which will result in further unemployment. For that reason, we as a civil society should be mindful of the impact of our actions and the number of lives getting affected in the process.
What do you think about boycotting international companies after this response and clarification from the major brands? Share your valuable feedback with us!
Note: This author doesn’t reflect the opinion of the publication. These are his/her own views