“The problem with Islam is not the religion but its visibility”

Zaman France

03.04.2013

Marie Le Pen, the President of the French far-right party Front National (FN), expressed in an interview with Zaman France her discontent with Islam and France’s Muslim community.  Contrary to accusations of being islamophobic, Le Pen considers her party to be a defender of secularism and France’s Christian traditions. She argues that France’s Muslim community is in its majority of immigrant background and thus needs to confirm with France’s rules and traditions instead of ‘imposing its own’. She defies the Muslim hijab, halal food requirements and  Muslim calls for prayers as being incompatible with French culture.  The visibility of Islamic cultures and traditions is according to her the real source of contention for her and her followers.

She further encourages the assimilation of Muslims into French culture and identity, which she considers to be a proud culture that has to be primary and not secondary. Instead of placing religion prior to their nationality, Muslims should put more emphasis upon their national identity and citizenship than their faith in their identity production, Le Pen argues.