French President Francois Hollande has held a national security meeting in Paris after the deaths of 17 people in the Charlie Hebdo attacks.
Al Jazeera spoke to Marine Le Pen, the far-right French politician and president of the Front National, about how her party views the issue of security in France.
|Marine Le Pen|
Al Jazeera: There was a security meeting here in Paris. In your opinion what should the French government be doing now to ensure French people they are safe.
Le Pen: The first priority is the immediate removal of Schengen, because you can’t have security and control in a country without having any powers over our borders. It’s impossible to stop illegal arms trade.
AJ: But you are talking at the European level. What in your opinion should be done here in France to increase security?
Le Pen: We have to go into fundamentalist mosques. We have to stop foreign financing of Islamist groups. We have to review our foreign policy and stop rolling out the red carpet for countries we know to be funding fundamentalism, countries like Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
And for that we have to oppose all demands that aim to shatter secularism - demands for different clothes, demands for special food, demands for prayer rooms. Demands that create special rules that would allow Muslims to behave differently.
AJ: What you are describing sounds almost like a purge against mosques all over France.
Le Pen: You are mixing them up. You believe that all mosques are fundamentalist.
AJ: But you are talking about going into mosques …
Le Pen: Mosques where sharia law prevails. They exist in France. Refusing to see that means that we do equate Islam with Islamic fundamentalism. We have to denounce and eradicate it.
AJ: Do you believe then that, at a certain level, Islam as a religion is in some ways incompatible with French values?
Le Pen: There are some who believe that secularism and Islam are not compatible. But Muslims should show everyone that this is not the case. It’s up to them to show that you can be French and Muslim and still respect secular rules.
And for that we have to oppose all demands that aim to shatter secularism – demands for different clothes, demands for special food, demands for prayer rooms. Demands that create special rules that would allow Muslims to behave differently.
AJ: There were some suggestions that the Front National does not represent republican values. What is your reaction to that kind of criticism?
Le Pen: The president of the republic called for national unity and several political parties immediately expressed a will to alienate the Front National. Why? Because they are thinking of their electoral interests.
That is the first thing they thought. It was not how to improve security for France and the French, it was to stop the Front National from benefiting from this attack. It was a shabby reaction and I deplore it.