Grand Mufti Abdel-Latif Derian declined to meet with French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen after she refused to wear a veil during their meeting.
When I met with Grand Imam of al-Azhar [Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayeb], I didn’t wear a hijab and I will not wear it now.
Women meeting with the Grand Mufti are required to wear a veil and cover their bodies with “modest clothing.”
According to a source at Dar al-Fatwa, Marine Le Pen had been informed, before arriving in Beirut, of the customs when meeting the Mufti. Organizers in Lebanon later informed her of the protocol as well.
In a statement issued by the Dar al-Fatwa press office, they called her action as “inappropriate behavior” since she “refused to put on the veil, as it is known (to be required) when visiting Mufti Derian.”
Le Pen told reporters during a news conference at Smallville hotel in Badaro that she “informed them [Dar al-Fatwa] that I don’t cover my head, but they didn’t cancel the meeting. So I assumed they agreed on that.”
“I don’t wear a veil and they sought to impose that on me,” she said.
People are claiming that this may have been intentional to cause a stunt in front of the journalists as well as to increase her support back home.
Others are calling her a “hero” since they see this move as her standing up for women’s right.