France’s conservative leaning presidential hopeful Marine Le Pen walked out of a scheduled meeting with Lebanon’s grand mufti, after refusing to wear a headscarf in accordance with Islam requirements.
Le Pen is on a two-day tour of Lebanon, courting France-Lebanese votes for the first round of elections in France on April 23.
Le Pen said she was surprised by the requirements, saying she had met with the grand mufti of Al-Azhar in Eqypt 2015 without covering her head.
Prior to walking out of the meeting, Le Pen said, CNN reported:
“‘I met the grand mufti of Al-Azhar,’ she 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.’”
“Le Pen has been outspoken in her opposition to the headscarf and has stated that she would ban all religious symbols in public places.
“A spokesman for Lebanon’s Sunni religious leader, Grand Mufti Abdel Latif Derian, told CNN that Le Pen had been informed of the need to wear a head covering prior to the meeting.
“‘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,’ Khaldoun Awas explained.
“‘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.’”