Libération, the bible of France's liberal left, stands accused of Islamophobia, racism, and sexism after an article by one of its columnists in which he imagined the traditionally dressed Muslim woman beside him in the metro had a bomb under her robe.

The article published this week in the daily newspaper sparked thousands of angry comments on social media and forced the editor in chief to pen a defence of the author, Luc Le Vaillant.

Mr Le Vaillant wrote that as he travelled in the "post-attacks" train, he spotted a woman in a "raven-black abaya," the loose-fitting robe that covers the body and head but not the face.

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