Head of Macron's party threatens to withdraw support for Muslim candidate over headscarf row

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: May 12, 2021, 06:09 PM(IST)

French President Emmanuel Macron Photograph:( Reuters )

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In the poster, Zemmahi was seen smiling wearing a white headscarf along with three colleagues from the party

The chief of France’s “La République En Marche!” Party recently threatened to withdraw support for one of its Muslim candidates after she was spotted wearing a headscarf in a poster. French President Emmanuel Macron also belongs to this party.

Stanislas Guerini helped establish Macron's movement in 2016. Guerini reacted to the poster of Sara Zemmahi wearing a headscarf in a campaign poster. Zemmahi is running for office in the French city of Montpellier.

"Wearing ostentatious religious symbols on a campaign document is not compatible with the values of LREM,"  AFP cited Guerini as writing on Monday.

In the poster, Zemmahi was seen smiling wearing a white headscarf along with three colleagues from the party, which translates into “Republic on the Move” in English. She is also an engineer. The candidates are running in elections that are due to take place on 20 and 27 June.

Also read: Another letter penned by soldiers foretelling civil war in France surfaces

France’s right-wing party National Rally’s prominent face Jordan Bardella tweeted the image on Monday, drawing a strong reaction from Guerini.

"Either these candidates change their photo, or LREM will withdraw its support”, Guerini added.

Also read: Open letter by French soldiers warning of 'civil war' angers Macron government

France practices a strict form of secularism called “laicite” which strikes a balance between the state and the Catholic Church.  Religious symbols are banned in French schools. And now many in the country are voicing support to extend such restrictions to all public spheres.

Gabriel Attal, a government spokesperson backed the statement of Geurini on Tuesday during a conversation on France Inter radio.

(With inputs from agencies)

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