On the sidelines of his speech on Islamist “separatism” in Mulhouse, the president was photographed right next to a woman in violation of the law of 2010.
The contrast is striking. Traveling to Mulhouse (Haut-Rhin) to discuss the theme of Islamist “separatism” – Macron’s way of defining ethnic communities – the French leader was photographed in a situation totally out of sync with the substance of his speech.
Indeed, while he was questioned by the press in the middle of a crowd in the middle of the street, the President of the Republic did not seem to notice that a Muslim woman, with her face entirely veiled, stood right next to him, in flagrant violation of the law of 2010 on the wearing of a religious Islamic veil.
It is a disastrous image for a head of state who nevertheless came to Mulhouse in order to reaffirm his will to fight political Islam. Worse still, the President of the Republic was being particularly lax by not acting against an legal offense.
Since 2010, legislation adopted under the mandate of Nicolas Sarkozy prohibits the concealment of a face in public spaces. “No one may, in public space, wear an outfit intended to conceal their face,” Article 1 notes. It is an offense punishable by a second class fine, which may be replaced or supplemented by a citizenship course.
This photo obviously quickly ignited social networks, and triggered the anger of many Internet users. Amine El-Khatmi, president of the Republican Spring, estimated that this image “will overshadow everything else”.
Au delà des propos tenus, un exécutif déterminé à lutter contre l’islamisme est un executif qui refuse ce genre de provocation. Sinon reste la faiblesse des mots face au choc des photos #separatismeislamiste #Macron #Mulhouse pic.twitter.com/tbyc0lZcGz
— Céline Pina (@celine_pina) February 19, 2020
The essayist Céline Pina believes that an “executive determined to fight against Islamism is an executive who refuses this kind of provocation”. Pina added: “Otherwise there remains the weakness of words in the face of the shock of photos.”
For the LR deputy Guillaume Larrivé, this is “a sad summary, in pictures, of the resignation of the State in the face of Islamist conquest”.