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What I Actually Said to Le Figaro regarding the Headscarf

Le Figaro caricatured my words regarding the candidacy of Ilham Moussaïd, who is on our list in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur regional elections.  After a serious and complex debate, the Vaucluse chapter of the New Anti-Capitalist Party (NPA) made a choice to include on its feminist, anti-capitalist, and internationalist lists an NPA member who believes in wearing a headscarf on account of her religious convictions.

Our party welcomes youth, the unemployed, the precarious, workers of all backgrounds who find their values reflected in the party.  Faith is a matter of personal choice that does not create any obstacle to participation in our struggle so long as members sincerely share the secular, feminist, and anti-capitalist fundamental principles of our party.

I therefore simply said to Le Figaro: “Ilham is evidence that one can be a member of the NPA and wear a headscarf.”

The NPA is a party that fights against any form of oppression and exclusion.  A debate on liberation and the place of religion — and all its forms of expression — exists within the NPA, in view of its next congress.

3 February 2010

Ilham Moussaïd, NPA

Olivier Besancenot, NPA

The original article “Déclaration d’Olivier Besancenot.  Rectificatif à propos d’un article du Figaro” was published on the Web site of the New Anti-Capitalist Party on 3 February 2010.  Translation by Yoshie Furuhashi (@yoshiefuruhashi | yoshie.furuhashi [at]
  See, also, Françoise David and Amir Khadir, “Secularism: For a Broad, Open, and Democratic Debate” (MRZine, 18 January 2010); Danièle Obono, “The Left and Racial Domination in France: An Interview with Sadri Khiari (MIR)” (MRZine, 6 January 2010); and Saïd Mekki, “The Decolonizing Struggle in France: An Interview with Houria Bouteldja” (MRZine, 28 October 2009).

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