France - 
Article published the Saturday 11 December 2010 - Latest update : Sunday 12 December 2010

Le Pen daughter compares public Muslim prayers to German occupation

Marine Le Pen
Reuters/Jacky Naegelen

By RFI

The daughter of French far-right leader Jean-Marie Le Pen, who hopes to succeed her father as head of his Front National party, on Friday compared Muslims praying in the street to the German occupation during World War II.

Claiming that Islamic prayers are held in the streets in 10-15 locations in France, Marine Le Pen told a meeting of about 300 party faithful in Lyon that  “… neighbourhoods where religious law applies, that’s an occupation”.

The party’s Lyon federation is considered “radical” and Le Pen’s rival for the party leadership, Bruno Gollnisch, teaches at a university in the city.

Explainer - the background to France's burka debate

“Fifteen years ago there were no [Islamic] veils, then there were more and more veils,” she told her audience. “And then there were prayers on the public thoroughfare.”

In a thinly disguised reference to accusations of anti-Semitism against her father, she declared, “For those who like to speak about the Second World War, here we can talk about occupation […] Certainly there are no tanks, there are no soldiers, but it weighs heavily on local people.”

A "wine and sausage" street party organised in reaction to Muslims praying in the street in one Paris neighbourhood was banned in June.

Earlier in the meeting, Le Pen had compared the war to the economic crisis, which the Front blames on globalisation and immigration, Le Monde reports.

The party’s congress in January will choose a new leader to succeed Jean-Marie Le Pen, who retires at the age of 82. With her father’s backing, Marine is expected to win and go on to contest the 2012 presidential election.

Will the Bettencourt scandal help the far right?

A televised debate with former government minister Rachida Dati on Thursday attracted 3.8 million viewers, more than Prime Minister François Fillon or Socialist leader Martine Aubry in the same slot earlier this year. Le Pen’s supporters brag that “thousands” of people applied to join the party after the broadcast.

Socialist Party national secretary Patrick Menucci called Le Pen’s comments “shameful” on Saturday, saying that if Muslims pray in the streets it is because prayer rooms are too small.

“This kind of remarks are unacceptable,” Education Minister Luc Chatel declared.
 

tags: Fascism - France - Islam - Islamophobia - Jean-Marie Le Pen - Lyon - Lyons - Marine Le Pen - Muslim - Racism - Religion
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(5) Réactions

it is intentional occupation

I have visited France many times and seen the change. As long as you have idiots like this Menucci in power, the French republic and all French blood will continue on its rapid path to extinction.

Why don't you guys have a "Tea Party" over there like we have in the USA ? You need to re-introduce the concept of the FRENCH NATIONALITY and history aggressively in all possible ways or just sit around and watch your country die.

Le Pen Marine

Go Marine Go, we are with You!

Marine Le Pen

Here's a question that I might get an answer to on a French website, because I never get any comments on an English one.
Why are we (UK, USA, France and other European countries bombing, maiming and killing Muslims in their own countries, when in our countries we are bending over backwards to accommodate and defend them. Sorry, I can't see the logic in that.

occupation

The party line will be we are fighting to make the countries safe democracies so that these people will not see the need to occupy ours, of course they could all be invited to clean up their own mess.

learn first

Racist people like Le Pen and his daughter need to learn how to live in a democratic country like France

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