French presidential candidate Le Pen calls to ban crosses and kippahs

The leader of France’s right wing National Front party has pledged to ban all religious dress, including crosses and kippahs.

Marine Le Pen said steps were needed to stop the rise of extremist Islam.

She said that Jews and Christians would have to accept the ban “to fight the advance of political Islam”.

“I know this is a sacrifice,” the politician said.

“I believe that the situation is too serious today. Every French person must understand that we are asking of them a sacrifice in order to fight the advance of political Islam.”

Le Pen, 48, is standing in April’s presidential elections and has a good showing in opinion polls.

If elected she has promised to extend France’s ban on religious symbols in state schools to all public places.

That would include the Jewish Kippah and crosses alongside Muslim wear.

Former president Nicolas Sarkozy, who is also standing in the election, has already promised to ban Muslim wear in the workplace.