France’s Le Pen accuses rival Macron of being soft on Islamists

Perpignan (France) (AFP) – French far-right leader Marine Le Pen on Saturday accused her main rival for president, centrist Emmanuel Macron, of being soft on Islamists, in a blistering attack eight days before the vote.

Le Pen pounced on remarks by Macron defending one of his top campaigners in the gritty suburbs north of Paris whom the far-right has labelled a “radical”.

Mohamed Saou was asked to step back from Macron’s campaign after a website published several of his old Facebook messages, one of which criticised the Charlie Hebdo newspaper targeted by jihadists in January 2015 for publishing cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed.

“He did one or two things that were more… radical…. But he’s a good guy otherwise,” Macron told Beur FM radio on Friday, adding that he did not want to fire Saou.

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