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French far-right leader Le Pen asks ban of Muslim, Jewish headwear
PARIS, (Xinhua): French far-right party leader Marine Le Pen on Friday called on local authorities to prevent the wearing of Muslim and Jewish headwear, raising fears of fuelling existing tensions over Mohammed cartoons.
Asked by the daily Le Monde if she was still for the prevention of the Muslim veil, Le Pen said "yes, in shops, public transport and on streets," adding that she would "sack all the foreign fundamentalists" if she would be in power.
"It is obvious that if the veil is banned, the kippah is banned in public as well," she added.
France, where about 5 million Muslims are living, the largest in Europe, banned Muslim women to wear the full-face veil in administrations, hospitals and parks in April 2011. Those who would defy the law would be subject to a fine of 150 euros (195.5 U.S. dollars) or a forced citizenship lesson.
Men forcing their wives to wear the burqa will have to pay a 30,000-euro fine, and may face one year in prison.
Le Pen remarks came in a frenetic atmosphere across Muslim world over an anti-Islam movie and publication in a French weekly cartoons mocking the Prophet Mohammed.
Local media said French President Francois Hollande was the first to react to Le Pen's remarks on the sidelines of a visit to Drancy. "Everything that tears people apart, opposes them and divides them is inappropriate, and we must apply the rules, only rules that we know, it is the rules of the Republic and secularism," said the French head of state.
"In the current context, it is time to say no to all this talk of hatred and division," Vincent Peillon, education minister said.
"All these amalgams, these inaccuracies, are the bed of obscurantism and hatred. Marine Le Pen throws oil on the fire of all fundamentalists. She is the first fundamentalist," the minister added.
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