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'Now you're interested in our votes?!' French Muslim voters rage at Macron ahead of vote

News'Now you're interested in our votes?!' French Muslim voters rage at Macron ahead of vote

The French Muslim community has criticised the lack of prospective candidates in the upcoming French election between Macron and Le Pen. Voters claimed President Emmanuel Macron had been “against” the Muslim population for the last five years. As the final round of the election draws closer, French Muslims claim Emmanuel Macron is only now “interested in our votes” as he vies to defeat far-right candidate Le Pen. Sherazade Rouibah, a Master’s student, said Muslims have been forced to support a second term for Macron as Le Pen is “much worse” for restricting Muslim practices.

In an interview with Turkish international news network TRT World, Ms Rouibah explained Muslims are “actually going to vote for him” to escape the harsh policies of Marine Le Pen.

The far-right candidate has pledged to ban religious symbols in public, including the hijab, a traditional Muslim religious garment.

French Muslims claimed Macron has largely overlooked the needs of their community and has only addressed their calls as he “wants to be president again”.

Citizens who expressed their views to TRT World argued their religious identity was being largely restricted “in the public space”.

Lisa Troadec, a nursery manager, claimed the French candidates were applying “political logic to something that is not political at all”.

She described her religious beliefs as an “intimate” aspect of her identity.

Ms Troadec argued French Muslims are coerced into voting for Macron to prevent the policies of Le Pen from violating their “personal” religious choices.

Macron has promised to defend religious freedom within France but has pledged to target those who promote “radical Islam” and “distort” the religion.

Read more: Macron and Le Pen ‘both lack compelling, positive vision’

Countering her statements, Macron pledged he would not “ban any form of religious sign in public spaces”.

In his campaign for a second term as president, Macron has described France as a “secular society” and defended the policy which bans religious symbols in education as school is a space for “shaping minds”.

He described religious symbols as a core aspect of “liberty and freedom” within France and strictly opposed the pledge Le Pen made to ban religious garments.

Macron warned voters the proposed banning of religious symbols in public spaces could spark a suburban “civil war” within France.

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