Times of India – Conflict over wearing turban surfaces, around French elections

Yudhvir Rana

Amritsar, 5 May 2017. The issue of public display of their religious symbols in France including turban has once again perturbed the minuscule Sikh community there as the run-off election between two top presidential candidates is scheduled for 7 May.

President of Dashmesh Sikh Academy, Paris Rajbir Singh Tung told TOI on Thursday that all the minorities, especially Sikhs and Muslims, favoured Emmanuel Macron of En Marche party over his closest rival Le Pen of National Front.

“Le Pen is known for her extreme views on public display of religious symbols and it will be difficult for Sikhs to live in Le Pen’s France as we fear that she will impose ban on wearing of turban or displaying other Sikh religious symbols,” he said.

In a recent interview, Le Pen had said no to wearing of turbans by Sikhs if she was elected President. “This is worrisome not only us but for Muslims too,” added Tung.

President of United Sikh Council of France Gurdial Singh said “No one, not even the common French people want to see Le Pen as president but Macron. Of course she has support from a section of French people who call themselves highly patriotic,” adding that as a French national all the minorities have equal respect for France and its constitution.

President of French NGO Aurore Dawn Iqbal Singh said May 7th presidential election was the hottest topic of discussion in France, especially among minorities.

He said a woman had never donned the top post in France so far and there was a possibility that terror affected French nationals could go for a woman having a clear stand on immigration and visibility of religious symbols. Besides, he said, she enjoys the support of young French nationals.



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