PARIS: French President Emmanuel Macron’s ruling party has barred a Muslim woman from running for as candidate on its ticket in a local election after she wore an Islamic headscarf for a photo that appeared on a campaign flier.
La Republique en Marche said the party line was that in secular France there should be no place for the overt display of religious symbols on electoral campaign documents. “This woman will not be an En Marche candidate,” Stanislas Guerini, the party’s general secretary, told RTL radio. French law does not prohibit the wearing of the hijab or other religious symbols in images that appear on campaign fliers. The episode illustrates how sensitive a subject the place of Islam in France has become ahead of next year’s presidential vote, with the main challenge to a Macron re-election bid coming from the far right.
Macron has warned of the growing threat of Islamist separatism in France.The affair erupted after Jordan Bardella, the number 2 in the far-right Rassemblement National party of Marine Le Pen, tweeted a copy of the flier with the post: “Is this how you fight separatism?” En Marche candidate,” Guerini responded, demanding either the flier be withdrawn or the candidate Sara Zemmahi lose support. Zemmahi or her associates could not be reached.