The Jews of France "can proudly wear their yarmulke!", said forcefully Sunday Interior Minister Manuel Valls, slaying the "hate speech and rejection" as worn by him the National Front and its president Marine Le Pen.
Acclaimed, he himself was wearing a kippa to participate in the traditional ceremony of greetings to the Jewish community of France, held at the Great Synagogue de la Victoire in Paris.
At the beginning of his speech, the minister, who is in charge of religion, wanted to support a "friendly, warm, secular and republican Shana Tova" (Happy New Year in Hebrew). Jews came in the year 5773 on their calendar.
The day before, Mr. Valls attended in the cathedral of Troyes the beatification of a Catholic priest. Sunday, "I'm here with you," he said, “and on Thursday, I will attend the inauguration of the new Grand Mosque of Strasbourg. "That's France", said.
France "must eat to diversity and tolerance" and "secularism is a frame for it," continued Manuel Valls.
Secularism, he insisted, "is made to soothe, protect, not to throw against each other or to deny the religious."
"The Republic recognizes no religion and at the same time accept it," said the minister, defending "freedom of religious practice."
So "Yes, the Jews of France, as is now the Minister of the Interior, can proudly wear their yarmulke!" He said.
"Hate speech, rejection can not be accepted, and returns that are Ms Le Pen and the National Front, a party that is very far away, so far, the values of the Republic," said Valls.
In an interview with the Le Monde newspaper, Le Pen called for religious headwear to be banned "in stores, on public transport and on the streets."
Asked if the ban should apply to the Jewish skullcap, known as the kippah or yarmulke, as well as Muslim headwear, she said: "It is obvious that if the veil is banned, the kippah is banned in public as well."
Minister Valls also reiterated its determination to "stand firm" against the "preachers who want to take our values and our institutions," repeating that events where "we scream hatred against values the Republic (...), the hatred of the Jews "were unacceptable.