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A political push from the French far-right.
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Marine Le Pen is the leader of France's far-right political party, Front National or the "National Front". She took over the party in 2011 from her father and founder of the party, Jean-Marie Le Pen. Since then, she has kicked her father out of the party as part of a process known as "dédiabolisation". By removing her father, Marine Le Pen hoped to cut ties with the anti-Semitic reputation that he had cultivated for the party. Despite this effort, her recent comments on the Vel' d'Hiv roundup have hindered her attempts to distance the party from it's xenophobic and anti-Semitic past. As the French election approaches, many are wondering whether the nationalist fervor that has swept across Europe will continue gaining momentum in France. Like British leaders promising a Brexit, Le Pen would like to secure a referendum for a Frexit from The European Union, which she believes is a globalist organization that favors German interests over those of France. In addition to the threat of globalization, she fears the erosion of a distinctly French identity. Accordingly, she would like to pursue anti-Immigration policies as president that would severely cut back on the rising number of asylum requests granted to newly arrived refugees from Syria, North Africa, and elsewhere in The Middle East. Like American president Donald Trump, she cites concerns about safety in order to defend her anti-immigration platform. In addition to restricting immigration, she has promised to protect France from Islamist fundamentalism, which she believes is a religious entity that serves to promote terrorism. Critics claim that her policies are Islamophobic, but she defends her platform by maintaining that her most pressing interest is protecting France for the French. In doing so, she often references the distinctly French concept of secularism known as laïcité. Recent terrorist attacks in Paris in 2015 and attacks in Nice in 2016 have stoked xenophobic and racist sentiments in France. Marine Le Pen is hoping that those fears translate into votes in the 2017 French presidential election.
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