This Politician's Words About Muslims Spur a Trial

Marine Le Pen compared public prayers to the Nazi occupation
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 23, 2015 7:48 AM CDT
Right-Wing French Leader Faces Trial Over Muslim Rant
French far-right leader Marine Le Pen.   (AP Photo/Michel Spingler, File)

The US isn't the only country whose politicians are in hot water over comments about Muslims. In France, one is actually facing trial because of it. Marine Le Pen, who leads the far-right National Front, compared Muslim prayers to the Nazi occupation and has been charged with "inciting discrimination over people's religious beliefs," reports France 24. The trial is set for Oct. 20, and Le Pen tells Reuters it's a "scandal that a political leader can be sued for expressing her beliefs."

Le Pen made the comments back in 2010 at a political rally in Lyon, and a rights group resurrected the complaint after initial charges were dropped. What she said:

  • "I'm sorry, but for those who like talking a lot about World War II, if it comes to talking about the occupation, we can talk about it, because that (Muslims praying on the street) is the occupation of territory. It is an occupation of sections of the territory, of neighborhoods in which religious law applies, it is an occupation. There are no tanks, there are no soldiers, but it is an occupation anyhow, and it weighs on people."
Despite her anger about the charges, Le Pen seems to be looking forward to the trial. "Yes, of course," she told AFP when asked about attending. "I wouldn't miss such an occasion." (More France stories.)

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