Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen are at odds over religious freedom

Fighting Islamism and defending animal welfare on the one hand, secularism and freedom of religion on the other. And right in the middle of it all is Marine Le Pen’s plan to simply ban Muslim women from wearing the veil in front of their houses and the mosque and from ritually slaughtering cattle without prior stunning in order to be able to offer halal and kosher meat.

For a week, the two qualified candidates of the second round of the presidential elections have remotely staged their opposition on these issues, which will not be missed during the televised face-to-face interview that will face them on Wednesday April 20.

The debates about traveling mothers or veiled students, which have been recurring for more than fifteen years, suddenly seem very far away. With the veil, the right-wing extremist candidate asserts that she is not banning a religious sign “an Islamist uniform”. In the event of a violation, a woman is dressed in such a headscarf “Islamist” verbalized on the street or in a public place and punished with a fine. Asked about the feasibility of such suppression, the National Rallye (RN) candidate draws a parallel to controlling seat belts “The police are very good at enforcing them.” “For wearing the mask, we made it good for 65 million French people”, argues the deputy head of his campaign, Jean-Philippe Tanguy. “I bet if the law changes, everyone will submit to the law.” assures Marine Le Pen, Tuesday April 12, on France Inter.

Also read: Compare the programs of Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen for the presidential election

The far-right candidate formalized her intent in a bill filed in February 2021. In fact, the ban there encompasses more than just the veil that some Muslim women wear to cover their heads, as Article 10 of that document provides for a ban “in public space, signs or outfits that, taken in isolation, represent an unmistakable and demonstrative affirmation of ideologies [islamistes] ». Can some beards also be considered Islamist? Mr Tanguy does not exclude certain supporters of this ideology “define the Islamist beard very precisely”, According to him.

“An Islamist uniform” not “Muslim”

Emmanuel Macron condemned on Franceinfo on Friday April 15, “An extreme project” what France would do “the first country in the world to ban the veil in public places”. He criticizes such a ban in the area of ​​religious freedom. “Baning every religious sign in public space is not secularism,” the presidential candidate said in an interview with the online medium Brut on April 8. In his opinion, the Constitution would give Mr.me Le Pen also wants to ban on the street “the kippa, the cross, other religious signs” so as not to discriminate against believers.

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