The leader of France's far-right National Front political party will visit Lebanon next week according to a government source, and some Lebanese are quite unhappy to say the least.
Marine Le Pen, who is called "France's Trump" and a "fascist", along with her political party, is known for her Islamophobic, racist and xenophobic views. But, Le Pen actually has a chance at winning in the French presidential election taking place later this year.
Current polls have her leading with 27 percent in the first round of voting. She isn't expected to win in a run-off vote ... but then again, nobody expected Trump to win, or for Brexit to happen.
It seems that Lebanon's leaders are expecting her to perform well, or at least see her as an important ally to have in Europe moving forward. The government source told the AFP that the far-right presidential candidate will be in Beirut on Feb. 19 and 20 and will meet with President Michel Aoun and Prime Minister Saad Hariri.
Enter Lebanese activists ... who have started a petition opposing the planned visit.
"French Fascist Marine Le Pen is not welcome in Lebanon"
"We, the undersigned, oppose the planned visit by Marine Le Pen – the French Trump – to Lebanon to meet President Aoun and Prime Minister Hariri. Le Pen is head of the fascist Front National (FN) in France. For many years the FN has strived to make violent racism and Islamophobia an element of mainstream French politics," the petition says.
"Xenophobic, Islamophobic, and hateful speech against immigrants and Roma communities are key aspects of FN’s discourse and agenda, and are constantly mobilized by Le Pen’s campaign for the upcoming French presidential elections."
The message continues, calling on "President Michel Aoun and Prime Minister Saad El Hariri to cancel this visit on the basis that fascists are not welcome in Lebanon."
Written in English, Arabic and French, the petition has garnered hundreds of signatures in just 24 hours. The goal is 500 total.
Lebanese are sharing their reasons for signing as well
Because Lebanon is a country of diversity. It is a country a country of great socialist intellectuals. It is an open and multicultural country opposed to all messages of hatred. It's a country of resistance.