France: President Macron's Party Bars Muslim Woman Candidate For Wearing Islamic Headscarf In Campaign

France: President Macron's Party Bars Muslim Woman Candidate For Wearing Islamic Headscarf In CampaignFrench President Emmanuel Macron. (David Ramos/GettyImages)

French President Emmanuel Macron's party has barred a Muslim woman from contesting local elections in June on its ticket after her photograph with Islamic headscarf appeared on a campaign flyer, according to a report in Reuters.

Macron's party La Republique en Marche (LaRem) said the party line was that there should be no room for the open display of religious symbols on electoral campaign documents in secular France. The elections are scheduled to be held on 27 June.

"This woman will not be an En Marche candidate," Stanislas Guerini, the party's general secretary, told RTL radio.

The matter over the campaign flyer came to light after Jordan Bardella, the vice president of Rassemblement National party of Marine Le Pen, tweeted a copy of the flyer with the message: "This is the fight against separatism?"

Guerini quoted his tweet and wrote, "The values ​​carried by LREM are not compatible with the conspicuous wearing of religious symbols on an electoral campaign document. Either these candidates change their photo, or LREM will withdraw their support."

A LaRem party official close to Guerini said Sara Zemmahi (candidate) would be notified of the decision in writing, officially.

This incident shows just how sensitive a matter the position of Islam in French society has shifted ahead of the 2022 presidential vote, with the main challenge to a Macron re-election bid coming from La Pen's Rassemblement National party.

A LaRem party legislator, Roland Lescure, told reporters, "It's an explosive subject. Political Islam is a reality, it is a simmering threat in some neighbourhoods and we have to be very firm."

On the other hand, Caroline Janvier, a member of parliament from Loiret, tweeted on the matter, "Indignity. Running after the National Front will only serve to gain their ideas. That's enough".

The Tweets mentioned in the report are in French, translated using Google translate.