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France

Le Pen: Islam not compatible with a secular society

media Marine Le Pen delivers a speech during the National Front annual congress … Reuters

The recently appointed leader of France’s far-right National Front party has once again turned her fire Islam, saying it is “absolutely not compatible” with a secular society. Le Pen, who took over as head of the party two weeks ago, has regularly faced accusations of Islamaphobia. 

“I think that France can be secular because it’s a Christian culture and you notice that in Muslim countries they have more difficulty,” she told LCP, the French parliament's TV channel.

“Muslim countries that are secular got there in general by force,” she continued, citing the examples of Turkey and Iraq.

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In December, the 42-year-old compared Muslims praying in the street to the German occupation during World War II, shortly before she took over from her father Jean-Marie as head of the anti-immigrant party.

“Secularism is absolutely not compatible … not natural in Islam, because Islam mixes the spiritual and the temporal," she told LCP on Friday.

"France is France. It’s a country with Christian roots and that’s also what’s given us our identity. It’s secular, we’ll hold this identity and we won’t let this identity be changed.”

In the same interview, Le Pen said she was “totally against” gay marriage. She also criticised the fact that it was the Constitutional Court that was left to decide that it was illegal, rather than the French people. 

"I’m totally against gay marriage and besides, I don’t think homosexuals are demanding it,” she said. “I think these self-styled representative organisations are not representative of homosexuals and the vast majority are not looking for the right to difference but for the right to indifference.”

Meanwhile, a survey released on Friday showed that 81 per cent of French people do not think Le Pen would make a good president. However, 50 per cent of respondents felt she understands the concerns French people have. 

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