News Agencies – November 19, 2011
French far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen unveiled her vision to hundreds of cheering supporters, advocating again for an exit from the euro and tighter border controls. During a speech that lasted more than an hour, Le Pen hammered home the traditional promises of her Front National party: strengthening France, preserving family values, fighting immigration and rejecting globalization. Le Pen repeated that France should leave the euro before it falls apart.
Le Pen, who inherited the leadership of the Front National from her father Jean-Marie Le Pen, has said she wants to broaden appeal for her party, known for its anti-immigration, anti-Islam views.
News Agencies – July 31, 2011
The founder of France’s far-right National Front sparked growing outrage recently with claims that the Norwegian government’s “naivety” was to blame for the recent mass killing there. Jean-Marie Le Pen accused Norway of not correctly handling immigration, one of the French far-right party’s main policy issues which was also cited by the Norwegian self-confessed mass killer, Anders Behring Breivik.
The French National Front and other European far-right parties had distanced themselves from Behring Breivik, who has confessed to carrying out the bombing and shooting attacks that killed 77 people in and near Oslo on July 22. The Front suspended one of its members, Jacques Coutela, this week for defending Behring Breivik in a blog.
News Agencies – January 28, 2011
The recently appointed leader of France’s far-right National Front party has turned her attention toward Islam, saying it is “absolutely not compatible” with a secular society. Marine Le Pen, who took over as head of the party two weeks ago, has regularly faced accusations of Islamaphobia. “I think that France can be secular because it’s a Christian culture and you notice that in Muslim countries they have more difficulty,” she told LCP, the French parliament’s TV channel. “France is France. It’s a country with Christian roots and that’s also what’s given us our identity. It’s secular, we’ll hold this identity and we won’t let this identity be changed.”
In December, the 42-year-old compared Muslims praying in the street to the German occupation during World War II, shortly before she took over from her father Jean-Marie as head of the anti-immigrant party.
France’s far right National Front has chosen Marine Le Pen as its new leader, replacing her father Jean-Marie Le Pen, party officials say. The results will be officially announced on January 16, but party sources said she had secured about two-thirds of members’ votes. Mr Le Pen is stepping down after leading the ultra-nationalist party, which he founded, for almost 40 years.
The FN, with its anti-immigration agenda has been shunned by France’s main parties. But Ms Le Pen has said she wants to break with its xenophobic, anti-Islam image and is confident the FN can become part of mainstream politics. A recent poll suggested the party could come third in the presidential elections to be held in 2012.
New Agencies – December 19, 2010
Groups from across Europe gathered in Paris to give voice to increasingly pronounced anti-Islam sentiments on the continent. Claiming to represent a wide range of political opinion, from Marxists and feminists to hardcore secularists and right-wing activists, the groups said they would coordinate their fight against what they call the Islamisation of Europe.
French Muslim and left-wing groups denounced the gathering that drew about 500 people as divisive. The president of the mainstream French Council of the Muslim Faith, Mohammed Moussaoui, said, “We are strongly in favour of the right to free expression but we feel that such a meeting is a threat to national unity and to our ability to live together.” Moussaoui accused the organizers of incitement to hatred but the authorities rejected the council’s appeal to have the meeting banned. The police cordoned off the area near the hall where the gathering took place but only a few dozen people showed up for a counter-demonstration.
Last week, Marine Le Pen, daughter of Jean-Marie Le Pen and his likely successor as leader of the ultra right-wing Front National, caused outrage by comparing the overflow of Muslims from mosques into the streets of French cities during Friday prayers with the Nazi occupation during the Second World War.
News Agencies – December 11, 2010
The daughter of French far-right leader Jean-Marie Le Pen, who hopes to succeed her father as head of his Front National party, has 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”.
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.
Several commentators have noted the similarity of Jean-Marie Le Pen’s National Front posters against Islamism in France to those in the anti-minaret campaign in Switzerland in November 2009. Please see the article to compare the images.
Marine Le Pen, a member of the National Front political party (and daughter of Jean-Marie Le Pen), claims that Islam in France is not being stigmatized, as the visibility of the tradition touches French values, way of life and secularism. Le Pen claims that Christian crosses and bells must not be hidden as Christianity is an integral part of French identity. Le Pen also discusses how she understands the linkage between immigration and unemployment, similarities between Geert Wilders and the National Front party, and issues of communautarianism.
The French government is looking for ways to bar a prominent comedian from fielding candidates for European Parliamentary elections because of his anti-Semitic proposals. The comedian is on trial on charges of inciting hatred against Jews.
French comedian Dieudonné M’Bala M’Bala has long been a controversial figure. He is a longtime friend of far-right French politician Jean Marie Le Pen. And he has long been known for his anti-Semitic remarks as an entertainer. He has also tried and failed twice to run for presidency. Those remarks have landed him in court on charges of inciting hatred.
But now he is taking on the political arena as his leftist party hopes to field candidates for June elections to the European Parliament. Dieudonné denies he is anti-Semitic. Rather, he said, he is fighting against a powerful Zionist lobby.
A French court of appeals fined far-right leader Jean-Marie Le Pen for discrimination, hatred or racial violence for anti-Muslim remarks he made in an interview in Le Monde in 2003. The National Front party leader was ordered to pay 10,000 Euros in fines and 5,000 Euros in damages to the plaintiff, the French League of Human Rights.