French National Front leader says Islam is not compatible with secular society

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.