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“The Yellow Vests informed you they sought after extra democracy and so they weren’t heard,” she mentioned. “I believe the largest drawback on the finish of those 5 years is the disunion, the department, that you’ve got led to a number of the French other people, the sensation of contempt they’ve, the sensation of no longer being listened to, of no longer being heard, of no longer being consulted.”

Now was once the time, she added, “to sew French democracy in combination” once more.

How Ms. Le Pen would do that via a political program positive to antagonize France’s greater than six million Muslims, in addition to many foreigners residing in France, is unclear. Whilst she insisted she had not anything in opposition to Islam as a faith, she mentioned that an Islamist ideology was once “attacking the principles of our Republic.”

Some of the pointed clashes got here at the factor of Muslim head scarves. Ms. Le Pen, who desires to bar ladies from dressed in them in public, referred to as head scarves “a uniform imposed through Islamists” that undermined French values of secularism and gender equality.

“All of those ladies wish to be freed,” she mentioned.

Mr. Macron shot again that banning head scarves was once an unworkable proposal that will gasoline “civil warfare,” that conflated Islam and extremism, and that dishonored France’s values of tolerance.

He referred to Latifa Ibn Ziaten, the Muslim mom of a sufferer of the 2012 terrorist shootings in Toulouse, who become an activist for adolescence outreach and interreligious discussion after her son’s dying. The assaults killed 3 youngsters and a rabbi at a Jewish college, in addition to French military infantrymen together with her son, Imad Ibn Ziaten.

“You need to tug off her head shawl?” Mr. Macron mentioned. “That’s what you might be proposing, very concretely.”

Repeated Islamist terrorist assaults in France, maximum lately the beheading in 2020 of a schoolteacher who had proven a caricature of the Prophet Muhammad in a lesson on freedom of expression, have contributed to the pointy ideological divisions afflicting the rustic and the upward thrust of the anti-immigrant excessive proper.

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