French Muslims urged to unite behind centrist presidential candidate

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Posted on Monday, April 24, 2017, at 10:10 am

One of France’s top Muslim leaders is calling on fellow Muslims to “vote massively” for Emmanuel Macron, one of two candidates who emerged from Sunday’s presidential primary to compete in the national runoff two weeks from now. Macron is a centrist who campaigned on a pro-European platform that emphasized unity and tolerance. His message contrasts sharply with Marine Le Pen, the far-right nationalist largely seen as the French version of Donald Trump. Le Pen has pledged to close France’s borders and restrict immigration amid the country’s ongoing battle with Islamic terrorism. Macron, who has the support of European leaders, won just over 23 percent in Sunday’s election. Le Pen came in a close second with 21 percent. Protesters angry over the results set fires in the streets and chanted, “No Marine and No Macron!” Police detained at least 29 people.