Call for ban on Muslim, Jewish headwear

2012-09-21 18:00

Paris - French far-right leader Marine Le Pen called on Friday for a ban on wearing Muslim veils and Jewish skullcaps in public, adding to religious tensions sparked by cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.

In an interview with the Le Monde newspaper, Le Pen called for religious headwear to be banned "in stores, on public transport and on the streets".

Asked if the ban should apply to the Jewish skullcap, known as the kippah or yarmulke, as well as Muslim headwear, she said: "It is obvious that if the veil is banned, the kippah is banned in public as well."

Le Pen, who shocked the French elite by winning almost 18% in the first round of this year's presidential vote, also repeated calls for bans on public prayers, kosher and halal foods in schools and foreign government financing of mosques in France.

President Francois Hollande denounced her comments, saying: "Everything that tears people apart, opposes them and divides them is inappropriate and we must apply the rules, the only rules that we know, the rules of the Republic and secularism."

France was on alert at home and abroad on Friday following the publication of the obscene cartoons of the Prophet by satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo on Wednesday.

Muslim leaders were calling for calm and urging militants not to defy a ban on protests in France over the cartoons.

  • vernon.samuel.7 - 2012-09-21 19:27

    Great, so do not ban offensive cartoons under the banner of freedom of speech, but ban religious people's way of life? Not very clever. Surely with the deaths caused by offensive cartoons down the years, media should take some responsibility and not be flippant about publishing such offensive material. Is the freedom of speech argument worth even one death? Will the world be a worse place if one movie, article or cartoon does not see the light of day? It is time for common sense to prevail.

      husaberg.twostroke - 2012-09-21 22:54

      Dear editor of the piece above, since when did the Jewish-YAMAKA changed to SCULLCAPS ??? Ook maar nie lekker by nie ne.

  • hannah.p.mostert - 2012-09-21 20:24

    Secular is the way to go, it is equal for all, and does not divide by beliefs being more important than humanity. Personally I'm not bothered about a kippah cause wearers of Yarmulke's don't behave like like people wearing burkas or niquabs, but if it keeps religion out of our faces there will be less judgement/prejudice among people.

      Shaakeer Adam Seedat - 2012-09-21 22:49

      hannah , u hate a bit too much dear.

  • aiazmir - 2012-09-21 21:47

    Hey, if I wear nothing on my head, but my baldness, am I going to be banned? If I wear an American Indian headdress with feathers and all, should I be banned? This is so ludicrous I can't believe that someone actually considered it.

      erich.goosen - 2012-09-22 08:27

      What about the Vrystaat omies (boere) going to town with their hats on.

  • Mandy Casey - 2012-09-21 22:29

    When in Rome do as the Romans do.

      Madhi - 2012-09-22 11:00

      Meaning what? being God-less if people are God-less? Freedom of association?

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