Tue Feb 21, 2017 11:27PM
Marine Le Pen (C), French National Front political party leader and candidate for French 2017 presidential election, rejects a headscarf for her meeting with Lebanon's Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Latif Derian in Beirut, Lebanon. (Photo by Reuters)
Marine Le Pen (C), French National Front political party leader and candidate for French 2017 presidential election, rejects a headscarf for her meeting with Lebanon's Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Latif Derian in Beirut, Lebanon. (Photo by Reuters)

France’s far-right National Front presidential candidate Marine Le Pen has canceled a meeting with Lebanon’s Grand Mufti after being told she should have to wear a headscarf.

Le Pen was scheduled to meet Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Latif Derian on Tuesday but walked away from the meeting after refusing to put on a headscarf. She is currently on a two-day trip in Lebanon.

"You can pass on my respects to the grand mufti, but I will not cover myself up," she said.

The Mufti’s spokesman, Khaldoun Awas, told reporters that Le Pen had been informed before the meeting that she would be required to wear head covering, and that he was "surprised by her refusal."

"I personally greeted her at the door of the Edict House and wanted to hand her a white headscarf that was in my hand, she refused to take it," said Awas.

"I urged her to put it on, she refused and said she would not put it on and walked out without attending the previously agreed upon meeting with the Mufti. The Edict House regrets such inappropriate behavior at such meetings," he added.

French legislation bans headscarves in classrooms. Le Pen has proposed extending the 2004 law banning headscarves and other religious symbols in all public spaces.

She launched her election bid earlier in the month with an anti-Islam stance. She has also noted that if she is elected as president, mosques and places of Islamic teaching will be closed down.

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