Macron clashes with Le Pen over Veil Ban

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French President Emmanuel Macron has attacked his rival Marine Le Pen over plans to ban Muslim women from wearing the hijab in public amid French elections.

During his visit to the eastern city of Strasbourg on Tuesday, Macron asked a veiled woman whether she wore the veil by choice or by obligation.

“It’s by choice. Totally by choice! said the woman, who proudly declared herself to be a feminist.

“That’s the best answer to the bullshit I’ve heard,” Macron replied, referring to Le Pen’s plan:

In his remarks, Le Pen said wearing the Islamic veil in public in France should be an offense punishable by a fine issued by the police, like a traffic violation.

“The headscarf was imposed by the Islamists,” Le Pen told BFM TV on Friday in an interview describing it as a “uniform”.

While visiting the town of Pertuis in southern France, Le Pen found herself cornered by a Muslim woman wearing a hijab.

The candidate said that in “certain regions” in France, women who do not wear the headscarf are “isolated and judged”.

“It’s not true. It’s not true,” the woman said, laughing in disbelief and saying her father had fought for France in the army for 15 years.

After another argument, Le Pen then happily waved and casually ended the exchange.

Even within his own camp, the tough stance has sparked controversy.

“It’s a mistake,” said Robert Ménard, mayor of the city of Béziers and supporter of Le Pen in the second round. “It is not possible to set up.”

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