France’s presidential candidate refuses headscarf to meet Lebanon’s mufti

LYON, FRANCE - [FEBRUARY 05]: French far right National Front (FN) political party's leader, Member of the European Parliament, and candidate for the 2017 French Presidential Election Marine Le Pen delivers a speech during her meeting at the occasion of her 'Assises de la présidentielle' at the Cite internationale on February 5, 2017 in Lyon, France. Nearly 3000 supporters came to listen the political program of Marine Le Pen titled '144 Presidential Commitments'. (Photo by Aurelien Morissard/IP3/Getty Images)

BEIRUT — France’s far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen has refused to go into a meeting with Lebanon’s grand mufti after his aides asked her to wear a headscarf.

Le Pen is on a three-day visit to Lebanon this week and has met senior officials. She was scheduled to meet Grand Sunni Muslim Mufti Sheikh Abdel-Latif Derian on Tuesday morning.

Shortly after she arrived at his office, one of his aides tried to give her a headscarf to put on.

She refused. Le Pen said she had met in the past with the grand mufti of Egypt’s Al-Azhar, one of the world’s top Sunni clerics, without wearing a veil.

Once she was told that customs are different in Lebanon, Le Pen walked toward her car and left.

The first round of the election takes place April 23rd, with a runoff election on May 7th.

Analysts believe Le Pen could be chosen into the second round to face a candidate on the left.