Le Pen cancels meeting Lebanon's Grand Mufti after refusing to wear headscarf

| Updated: Feb 22, 2017 10:57 IST

Beirut [Lebanon], Feb. 22 (ANI): France's presidential hopeful Marine Le Pen canceled a meeting with Lebanon's Grand Mufti, the most prominent Sunni Muslim cleric in the country, on Tuesday after refusing to wear a headscarf. According to CNN, Le Pen told reporters that she was surprised by the requirement of wearing the head scarf. But a spokesman for the Grand Mufti said she was informed beforehand of the need to wear a head covering before the meeting. The far-right presidential candidate is on a two-day tour of Lebanon where she is courting Franco-Lebanese votes ahead of the first round of French elections on April 23. Le Pen said she had met the Grand Mufti of Al-Azhar during a visit to Egypt in 2015 without covering her head. "You can pass on my respects to the grand mufti, but I will not cover myself up," she insisted. Le Pen has been outspoken in her opposition to the headscarf and has stated that she would ban all religious symbols in public places. The burqa and the niqab have been prohibited in public areas in France since 2011. Headscarves and other conspicuous religious symbols were banned from French schools in 2004. Mayors in some French towns sparked controversy and protests last summer when they banned women from wearing burkinis on beaches in the wake of the Nice terror attack. The ban was later overturned. (ANI)
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