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French socialist candidate Benoit Hamon is ‘proud of Muslim nickname’

Socialist Benoit Hamon told local media ‘he is gratified for being called Bilal’ by far-right political rivals for his stance on immigration

Published: Updated:

One of France’s prospective Socialist Party candidates in the lead up to the upcoming presidential election says he is proud of the Muslim nickname given to him by rival far-right parties.

Socialist Benoit Hamon told local media “he is gratified for being called Bilal” by far-right political rivals for his stance on immigration.

“I am honored to hold the name Bilal as well as Elijahand David… as the far-right resent Islamic and Jewish names,” Hamon said to a crowd of supporters in east Paris.

The Socialist candidate hopeful is tipped to win his party nomination in the primaries against former Prime Minister Manuel Valls.

Hamon has been dubbed the “French Bernie Sanders” for his socialist proposals that would see unemployed and low-income workers receive a monthly payment of between 600 and 750 euros ($795) a month.