Marine Le Pen Would Ban All Religious Clothing, Including Crosses, 'To Fight Islam'

Marine Le Pen, the far-right leader in France, has promised to ban all religious clothing including Christian symbols, in a bid to defeat radical Islam.

ReutersMarine Le Pen, leader of the National Front, is daughter of Jean-Marie Le Pen, the antisemite who founded the party.

The National Front chief enjoyed a surge in polls after recent terror attacks and is expected to come top or second in the first round of presidential voting in April.

She said on Sunday that Jews and Christians would have to accept the ban in order to "fight the advance of political Islam".

If elected in April and May next year Le Pen, 48, said she would extend the current ban on religious symbols in state schools to all public spaces.

"I know this is a sacrifice, but I believe that the situation is too serious today."

The proposed ban would include Christian crosses and Jewish kippah as well as Muslim garments like the hijab and burka.

Le Pen was recently accused of "waging Hitler's campaign" but "replacing Jews with Arabs and blacks". Comedian Guy Bedos, 82, told his audience that Le Pen's message was: "If you are unemployed and you're suffering it's because there are too many Arabs, too many blacks and if we throw them into the sea you will have work."

Her comments this weekend came after French President Francois Hollande said his country had "a problem with Islam". In an explosive 660-page book called 'A President Should Not Say That', Hollande was revealed to have said there were too many illegal migrants and suggested a "veiled woman" could be the female symbol of France.

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