French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen canceled a meeting with Lebanon’s Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Latif Derian after the cleric’s office told her she had to wear a headscarf during the meeting, according to Reuters.
Le Pen is one of France’s front-runners in the upcoming election. Reuters reports her trip to Lebanon was to help her foreign policy credentials as well as to, possibly, snag some Franco-Lebanese votes.
“I met the Grand Mufti of Al-Azhar,” she told reporters, referring to a visit she took to Cairo in 2015. “The highest Sunni authority didn’t have this requirement, but it doesn’t matter.”
Reuters reports her press office knew this was a requirement ahead of time and was surprised by Le Pen’s decision not to wear the headscarf.
“You can pass on my respects to the Grand Mufti, but I will not cover myself up,” she said.
In France, headscarves are banned in the public service sector, as well as in high schools. According to Reuters, Le Pen wants to extend this ban to all public places in France. Her political stance on immigration and radical Islam is very similar to that of President Donald Trump.
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