‘It’s a NO’: France’s Le Pen stuns the Left, refuses to wear headscarf with Muslim leader ahead of election

French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen raised eyebrows on the left when she refused to bow to Islamic rules.

La Pen, leader of France’s right-wing National Front movement and presidential frontrunner, was visiting Lebanon to court French-Lebanese voters when she went to see the Lebanon’s Grand Mufti as scheduled but balked when she was told she was going to have to wear a headscarf.

She was seen on video shaking her head “no” when one of his aides offered her a scarf before she walked away.

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“I met the grand mufti of Al-Azhar,” Le Pen told reporters. “The highest Sunni authority didn’t have this requirement, but it doesn’t matter.”

“You can pass on my respects to the grand mufti, but I will not cover myself up,” she said.

A spokesperson for the grand mufti said Le Pen was informed of the headscarf requirement prior to the meeting, CNN reported.

“I personally greeted her at the door of the Edict House and wanted to hand her a white headscarf that was in my hand, she refused to take it,” the mufti’s press secretary, Khaldoun Awas, told CNN.

“I urged her to put it on, she refused and said she would not put it on and walked out without attending the previously agreed upon meeting with the Mufti. The Edict House regrets such inappropriate behavior at such meetings,” he added.

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Shortly after the incident, Florian Philippot, the vice president of Le Pen’s Front National Party tweeted: “In Lebanon, Marine refuses to wear the veil. A beautiful message of freedom and emancipation sent to women in France and the world!”

The incident sparked protest and controversy, CNN reported.

But many on social media praised Le Pen for taking a stand but it didn’t appear that American feminists were among them.


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