The media office of Lebanon’s grand mufti, Sheikh Abdel-Latif Derian, told Reuters they were “surprised by her refusal” seeing as Le Pen’s aides were told beforehand that a headscarf would be required for the meeting.
But Le Pen told reporters that she hadn’t been required to wear a headscarf when she met Egypt’s top cleric in 2015. “I met the grand mufti of Al-Azhar,” she said. “The highest Sunni authority didn’t have this requirement, but it doesn’t matter…You can pass on my respects to the grand mufti, but I will not cover myself up.”
The National Front leader, who is on a three-day visit to Lebanon, met with Christian President Michel Aoun and Sunni Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri on Monday.
French law currently bans headscarves for high school pupils and those in public service. Le Pen wants headscarves banished from all public places.