Outrage Sparked on Arab Social Media After Mali Claims a French Airstrike Targeted a Local Wedding

Calls to boycott French products once again surfaces on Arab social media outlets after Malian villagers claimed that France carried out an airstrike on a local wedding. On Friday, A spokesperson of the French Army stated that the attack on Sunday, January 3 targeted only jihadists in central Mali.

Residents of Bounti, the remote village where the airstrike took place, told the AFP that it had claimed the lives of 20 civilians.

In the weeks that followed, Arab social media users expressed their outrage calling for a second round of boycott of French products in light of the alleged massacre.

Tensions between the Arab World and France heightened in October of last year when a display of controversial cartoons of Islam’s prophet Mohammad in a debate on free speech in a school in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine near Paris led to the beheading of teacher Samuel Paty on the hands of an Islamist terrorist. In the aftermath of the incident, French President Emmanuel Macron cracked down on mosques suspected of promoting hate speech.

Since the French airstrike, a great number of Arabs who were offended by the satirical caricature decided to boycott all French products. The situation exacerbated after the news from Mali broke.

Over the last two weeks, Muslims around the world have been calling for a retaliation against France’s alleged bigotry against Islam.

A number of accounts on Twitter were created to point out French products for Muslims to boycott.

French military invention in the African region of Sahel began in early 2013, when the French army deployed to force jihadists out of northern Mali. In the eight years that followed, violence erupted on a regular basis, claiming the lives of French soldiers, Islamist militants, as well as innocent civilians.

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