Le Pen Labels Turbans, Burqas ‘Contradictory’ to French Values

Le Pen and her party, the National Front, have long been associated with ideologies of anti-Semitism and racism.

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World
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French Nation Front Party leader Marine Le Pen (Photo: AP) 

The first round of polls in the French Presidential Election revealed a slender advantage for centrist, Emmanuel Macron, while far-right leader Marine Le Pen came in close second. Le Pen and her party, the National Front, have long been associated with ideologies of anti-Semitism, racism and euro-skepticism.

Among her more worrying remarks are those made about immigration and visibility of religious symbols, which has the the non-Christian minorities in France worried.

Though Le Pen has taken many concrete steps to distance herself and her party from her father’s racist ideology, similarities between the two still remain.

Two religious symbols that Le Pen has focused on have been the Muslim burqa and the Sikh turban, as they both mark religious identity, which Le Pen seems to be fundamentally opposed to.

Religious symbolism has been a hotly debated topic across all ideologies in French politics. Le Pen’s opposition to such symbolism stems from her belief that they are not ‘inherently French’.

In an interview with CBS’ Anderson Cooper Le Pen replied a with a firm ‘No’, when asked if Sikhs would be allowed to wear turbans under her prospective presidency.

She said:

We don’t have a lot of Sikhs in France. We’ve got some. But we don’t really hear much from them or about them. Which is good news.

Le Pen’s views toward symbols of religious identity stem from her anti-immigration stand, which blames immigrants for failing to integrate with French society, serving as a contradiction to what she considers French values.

(With inputs from The Indian Express)

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