Adviser to France’s Le Pen fined for hate speech
According to Rapporteur Report From, Press TV, Link, Media reported on Tuesday that a French court of law fined Robert Menard — who is the mayor of Beziers — 2,000 euros for saying there were too many Muslim children registered in Beziers’ schools.
“In one of the classrooms in my town center, 91 percent of children are Muslim. Obviously this is a problem,” Menard had formerly said during an interview on TV.
He had also posted a tweet comparing a school picture from the 1970s to one taken recently as supposed proof that Muslim migrants were replacing the traditional French population. Menard also claimed there was a conspiracy going on in France. He called it the “great replacement.”
French prosecutors deemed Menard’s behavior as offensive, resulting in “hatred and discrimination” toward the minority Muslim population in Beziers.
In a tweet sent after being convicted, Menard said he would be “obviously appealing” the court ruling.
This image shows far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen. (By AFP)
The court ruling comes after Le Pen said she was going to temporarily step down as the head of the Front National (FN) party to concentrate on her presidential bid.
Far-right Le Pen is in competition with centrist Emmanuel Macron. Both candidates have advanced to France’s presidential runoff scheduled for May 7.
Le Pen’s move to give up her top position at the party has been interpreted by some observers as an attempt by her to distance herself from the anti-Muslim and anti-immigration policies of the party ahead of the election. The conviction of Menard, however, is likely to impede such an attempt.
Le Pen has also been known for her own hard-line stances on Muslims, immigrants, and other issues.