Sikh PA have been looking to speak to Sikhs from France about their thoughts on the nation’s election, which will come to a conclusion at the end of this week.
Sikhs have been particularly concerned because of the very real chance that Marine Le Pen – former president of far-right party the National Front – could be elected as the country’s president. Marine Le Pen has been open about furthering the ban on religious symbols from France’s schools to all public spaces, which she confirmed will impact Sikhs wearing the dastaar (turbans).
Sikh PA spoke with Ranjit Singh, a 30 year old legal counsellor from Paris, about his thoughts on the election and the potential for Le Pen to be President.
“The arrival of Marine Le Pen in the second round of the presidential elections is not a surprise, this was unfortunately predictable, just like the rise of extremism in many countries.
“The real shock is to realize that thousands of people who voted for her have a similar vision of France and adhere to her ideas. As a result, many people today feel uninhibited and allow themselves to make offensive remarks. Thus, discrimination and racism multiply.
“Marine Le Pen has proved that she has a biased view of reality and a lack of knowledge of the people who make up the French population. She seemed surprised by the presence of French Sikhs.
“The arrival of an extreme party is a fear not only for the French Sikhs, but also for all minorities and democracy in a more general way.”
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