France’s Le Pen hails Egypt’s battle against ‘extremism’

Marine Le Pen
Marine Le Pen

Marine Le Pen, leader of the French far-right Front National party, gives a press conference in Cairo on May 31, 2015.

French far-right leader Marine Le Pen on Sunday praised the fight against “extremism” launched by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who is accused of a bloody crackdown against Islamists.

In July 2013, then army chief Sisi overthrew Islamist president Mohamed Mursi after mass protests against his turbulent year-long rule, and a subsequent crackdown on Morsi supporters has seen hundreds killed and thousands jailed.

Under Sisi’s guidance, Egypt launched air strikes in neighboring Libya in February on fighters belonging to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militant group, which has carried out attacks on Egyptian security forces in the Sinai Peninsula.

“President Sisi is one of the leaders who has the clearest message against extremism,” Le Pen told reporters during a visit to Cairo.

“The choice for the National Front is clear: to support countries fighting against fundamentalism, first and foremost Egypt,” she said referring to her party.

The far-right leader said that Mursi’s Muslim Brotherhood, which is blacklisted in Egypt, shared a similar ideology to that of ISIS.

During her visit to Cairo, Le Pen also met Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab and Ahmed al-Tayeb, grand imam of top Sunni Muslim body Al-Azhar, who used their meeting to voice concern over what he said was the National Front’s “hostile positions towards Islam and Muslims.”


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