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Fuel To Fire: French Far-Right Leader Calls For Ban On Muslim Veils, Jewish Skullcaps



PARIS – French far right leader Marine Le Pen weighed in on the Prophet Muhammad caricatures and anti-Islam film protests in an interview published by Le Monde on Friday.

When asked by the French newspaper what she would do if she was elected president, the Front National party leader answered, “I would expel all foreign fundamentalists. All of them!” She added that Muslim headscarves and Jewish skullcaps would be banned in shops, public transport, as well as in the streets and public institutions such as schools. Special halal and kosher meals in public school cafeterias would be also banned.

She accused the past and present French governments of laxity towards political and religious fundamental groups, saying that the country should restore law and order around housing projects, to “gain the upper hand.”

Another way for the government to “gain the upper hand,” she said, would be for primary schools to stop teaching foreign languages and culture, adding the schools’ role was to “create French nationals.” One way to do that she said was to put an end to dual nationality.

French President François Hollande was quick to react, reports Ouest France, saying that such divisive heavy-handed comments were inappropriate.

Education Minister Vincent Peillon, said Marine Le Pen’s comments “only serve to fuel obscurantism and hate, throwing oil on all fundamentalisms,” adding, she was “the top fundamentalist.”

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food / travel

Pasta v. Fascists: How Italy's Staple Dish Became A Symbol Of Resistance

Pasta may not be considered controversial today, but it played an important role during Italy's fascist years, particularly in one family's celebration of community and liberation.

Photo of the Cervi family.

Photo of the Cervi family, whose seven children were shot by the Fascists on December 28, 1943, at the Reggio Emilia shooting range.

@comunisti_alla_ribalta via Instagram
Jacopo Fontaneto

ROME — Eighty years ago — on July 25, 1943 — the vote of no confidence by the Grand Council of Fascism, leading to Benito Mussolini's arrest, set off widespread celebrations. In Campegine, a small village in the Emilian province, the Cervi family celebrated in their own way: they brought 380 kilograms of pasta in milk cans to the town square and offered it to all the inhabitants of the village.

The pasta was strictly plain: macaroni dressed with butter and cheese, seen as more of a "festive dish" in that period of deprivation. As soon as the Cervi brothers learned about the arrest of Mussolini, they procured flour, borrowed butter and cheese from the dairy, and prepared kilos and kilos of pasta. They then loaded it onto a cart to distribute it to their fellow villagers. Pastasciutta (dry pasta) specifically regards dishes with noodles that are plated "dry", not in broth. That would disqualify soup, risotto, ravioli...

Even though pastasciutta is the most stereotypical type of pasta today, it had a complicated relationship with the government during Italy's fascist years.

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