Marine Le Pen to Muslims: “I will not cover myself up”

 In Foreign, opinion

“You can pass my respects on to the Grand Mufti, but I will not cover myself up.” Marine Le Pen, French Presidential candidate

Le Pen was asked to put on a hijab when meeting with the Grand Mufti in Beirut, Lebanon. She refused, and cancelled her scheduled meeting with him.

Beirut is generally open enough that women are not required to wear Islamic dress. In asking her to put on the headscarf, they likely knew that it wouldn’t fly with her. Others called it a “stunt” and blamed her.

Why would the Muslims demand that she wear a headscarf in a country that does not require them? She was informed prior to the meeting that she would be required to wear one, and she stated that she informed their office that she would not.

“They did not cancel the meeting, so I thought they would accept that I will not wear the scarf. They wanted to impose this on me, to present me with a fait accompli. Well, no one presents me with a fait accompli.” Marine Le Pen

Why the demand for an outsider to wear it? Because NOW she is not just the leader of a political party, the National Front, she is an actual Presidential Candidate running for office. Would wearing the headscarf make it appear that she was in a submissive position to an Islamic leader?

She was not only right to refuse to wear it, but her action now will have reverberations throughout Lebanon, and perhaps beyond.  She has been a proponent of banning all hijabs, niqabs, and burkinis in France. There is already a ban on burqas in the country.

“She’s very gutsy, that woman. It’s a bold and assertive move showing she’s prepared to remain defiant against religious conservatism, enforcing that her individualism, choice and power as a woman to refute conditions imposed by others is unshakable. She’s sending a strong message to all those pushing for religious extremism and violence across the Arab that ‘all your extremism, your violence, your barbaric conduct is not going to intimidate me in subjecting to your ideals about how I should conduct myself as a woman’.” Mary Saliba, Australian  Lebanese journalist 

Islamic dress codes

Strict adherence to the Qur’an is what produces the hijab and other forms of Islamic dress. That strict adherence to the rules is also a form of submission and subjugation, although some women who grew up under that system often do not understand that. Many of them believe that the dress is actually “freedom” and dress that way by “choice.” Others held captive by ISIS have burned the shrouds when they were freed.

Qur’an 24: 30-31 states:

“[Prophet], tell believing men to lower their glances and guard their private parts: that is purer for them. God is well aware of everything they do. And tell believing women that they should lower their glances, guard their private parts, and not display their charms beyond what [it is acceptable] to reveal; they should let their headscarves fall to cover their necklines and not reveal their charms except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands’ fathers, their sons, their husbands’ sons, their brothers, their brothers’ sons, their sisters’ sons, their womenfolk, their slaves, such men as attend them who have no sexual desire, or children who are not yet aware of women’s nakedness; they should not stamp their feet so as to draw attention to any hidden charms. Believers, all of you, turn to God so that you may prosper.”

And here is another: Qur’an 33:58-59

“And those who undeservedly insult believing men and women will bear the guilt of slander and flagrant sin. Prophet, tell your wives, your daughters, and women believers to make their outer garments hang low over them so as to be recognized and not insulted: God is most forgiving, most merciful.”

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