National Front’s Le Pen calls for kippah ban

By Anna Sheinman, September 21, 2012
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Marine Le Pen

Marine Le Pen

Marine Le Pen, leader of France’s far-right party the National Front, has called for a public ban of kippot along with Muslim headscarves and other religious symbols.

In an interview with French newspaper Le Monde released earlier today, she called for a ban of headscarves “in shops, on public transport, in the street…”

Asked whether she would also ban kippot, Ms Le Pen replied: "It is obvious that if the veil is banned, the kippah is banned in public as well."

Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, the President of the Conference of European Rabbis, responded: “Ms Le Pen has, once again, exposed herself as being unworthy of the mainstream French political space. Her suggestion of a ban on wearing a kippah in public, takes us straight back to the times of state sponsored antisemitism under the Vichy Regime. Any sane politician will disqualify these comments as total madness and profoundly insulting to the French ideals of freedom of expression.”

Ms Le Pen's remarks come at a time of heightened racial tension in France, after offensive cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed were published by satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo on Wednesday.

Last updated: 4:45pm, September 21 2012