French presidential marketing campaign spotlights Muslim headscarves

Muslim headscarves took middle stage in France’s presidential marketing campaign Friday amid far-right candidate Marine Le Pen’s push to ban them within the nation with western Europe’s largest Muslim inhabitants.

Both she and rival Emmanuel Macron, dealing with a tightly contested April 24 runoff, had been confronted by ladies in headscarves who requested why their clothes selections must be caught up in politics. Macron would not ban non secular clothes, however he has overseen the closure of a number of mosques and Islamic teams. And many Muslims really feel the presidential marketing campaign has unfairly stigmatized their religion.

At a farmers’ market within the southern city of Pertuis, a lady in a blue-and-white head masking approached Le Pen because the candidate weaved previous fishmongers and distributors to greet supporters.

“What is the headscarf doing in politics?” the lady requested.

Le Pen defended her place, calling the headband a “uniform imposed over time by people who have a radical vision of Islam.”

“That’s not true,” countered the lady. “I started to wear the veil when I was an older woman … For me it is a sign of being a grandmother.” The lady famous that her father had served within the French navy for 15 years.

Le Pen’s opposition to the headband has encapsulated what her critics say makes her harmful to French unity, by stigmatizing tens of millions of French Muslims. Le Pen would additionally slash immigration and needs to outlaw ritual slaughter, which might limit French Muslims’ and Jews’ entry to kosher and halal meat.

Macron too debated a lady in a Muslim headband on Friday in a energetic change on broadcaster France-Info. He sought to distance himself from Le Pen by saying he wouldn’t change any legal guidelines, however defended an current ban on headscarves in faculties as a part of France’s secular ideas.

The lady, Sara El Attar, mentioned she had felt insulted by earlier feedback by Macron the place he’d recommended that headscarves destabilize relations between women and men.

French ladies “have been castigated these recent years for a simple scarf, without any leader deigning to denounce this injustice,” she said. And she repeated the argument that many veiled women in France make: That people mistakenly think they’re veiled not through personal choice, but because men make them wear headscarves.

Macron sought to defend his record. “For me personally, the question of the headscarf is not an obsession,” Macron mentioned.

But critics say his authorities stoked prejudice in opposition to Muslims by cracking down on what it has claimed are efforts by some Muslims to carve out areas in France for stricter interpretations of Islam. The authorities has gone after some faculties, mosques and Islamic associations.


Follow AP protection of France’s elections at

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