Marine Le Pen, leader of France’s far-right political party Front National, abruptly canceled a meeting in Lebanon with the Grand Mufti after refusing to wear a headscarf.
Le Pen claims that before the meeting, which was scheduled for Tuesday with Sheikh Abdel-Latif Derian, she had told the cleric’s office that she was not going to wear a veil during the encounter. She received no correspondence suggesting that this would be a problem, so she planned to attend as scheduled.
“They didn’t cancel the meeting so I thought they would accept the fact that I wouldn’t wear one,” Le Pen said. “They tried to impose it upon me, make it a matter of fact. You can’t put me before a matter of fact.”
Once she arrived at the office one of Sheikh Abdel-Latif Derian’s aides handed her a white headscarf to wear. Following a discussion that lasted a few minutes, she refused and walked towards her car and left. Le Pen told the office, “You can pass on my respects to the grand mufti, but I will not cover myself up.”
Le Pen, who has based much of her campaign on pro-Christian values, should be commended for not putting her religious beliefs aside to appease the Grand Mufti. Le Pen also points out that she was not required to wear a headscarf when she had met with Egypt’s Grand Sheik of Al-Azhar, the head of the Sunni world’s most prestigious learning institute.
Aside from support from her fans for this decision, Le Pen is also receiving approval from the Vice President of the Front National Party, Florian Philippot, who tweeted, “In Lebanon, Marine refuses to wear the veil. A beautiful message of freedom and emancipation sent to women in France and the world!”
Le Pen has stated that if elected, she wants to ban headscarves from being worn in public places altogether in France. Aside from religious freedom, this is also a step in the right direction for women’s rights. Despite how liberals try to spin it, Sharia Law hurts women and does no promote freedom of thought or action. There are those who speak about women’s rights, and there are those who actually defend them, and Le Pen has proven herself a defender.
This meeting was part of a two-day tour of Lebanon where Le Pen was courting Franco-Lebanese votes ahead of the first round of French elections on April 23. Many people fled Lebanon during the Lebanese civil war and became French citizens, and still maintain the ability to vote in French elections.
One meeting that she did take was on Monday with President Michel Aoun and Prime Minister Saad Hariri. and declared that President Bashar Assad was “the only viable solution” for preventing the Islamic State from taking power in Syria. She also suggested that the best way to protect minority Christians is to “eradicate” the Islamic State group preying on them — not turn them into refugees.
Hopefully, France will follow in the footsteps of the United States and elect an outsider who fights what is truly best for French Citizens.