AFP, December 22, 2016
A far-right French mayor will be tried on hate charges over comments that include a claim the number of Muslim students in his city was a “problem”, a judicial source said Wednesday.
Robert Menard, who is an ally of France’s anti-immigrant National Front party, will face a charge in a Paris court of incitement to hatred or discrimination, the source said.
“In a class in the city centre in my town, 91 percent of the children are Muslims. Obviously, this is a problem. There are limits to tolerance”, he said in September 5 comments on French news channel LCI.
Also in September, on France’s first day back to school, he tweeted his regret at witnessing “the great replacement”, using a term by xenophobic writer Renaud Camus to describe the country’s white, Christian population being overtaken by foreign-born Muslims.
Menard, who is the mayor of southern France town Beziers, denied his comments were discriminatory.
“I just described the situation in my town,” he told AFP. “It is not a value judgement, it’s a fact. It’s what I can see.”