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French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen ridiculed for remarks on hijab 

Marine Le Pen, French far-right party Rassemblement National (RN) in Paris, France on April 10, 2022 [Albert Cara/Anadolu Agency]
Marine Le Pen, French far-right party Rassemblement National (RN) in Paris, France on April 10, 2022 [Albert Cara/Anadolu Agency]

Far-right French presidential candidate and leader of the National Rally Party, Marine Le Pen, has sparked a wave of criticism after she said the late Tunisian leader Habib Bourguiba banned the head scarf worn by Muslim women in Algeria.

Le Pen was a guest on France Inter radio yesterday when she vowed to completely abolish the hijab in France, noting that she would not be the first president to do so, "as Bourguiba had done so in Algeria".

Posters depicting candidates competing in presidential election made by French street artist Jaeraymie are seen on bilboards in Paris, France on April 10, 2022 [Esra Taşkın/Anadolu Agency]

Posters depicting candidates competing in presidential election made by French street artist Jaeraymie are seen on bilboards in Paris, France on April 10, 2022 [Esra Taşkın/Anadolu Agency]

Le Pen's statement sparked a wave of controversy on the social media platforms, since Bourguiba was president of Tunisia and not Algeria.

Social media user Najib said: "Bourguiba did not ban the hijab, but rather prevented imported sectarian dress that is alien to our culture." Adding that Tunisians have their traditional dresses like Safseri and Bakhnoug and dozens of clothes that preserve their culture and identity.

Another social media user said the problem with Le Pen's remarks is that no one in the studio realised that the information was wrong.

OPINION: Who will win France's election and does it matter? Islamophobia and anti-Muslim persecution will always come first

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