Monday, December 24, 2012
Attempt to squelch dissent in France
The news became public only a few days ago - French authorities asking the European Parliament to lift the immunity of far-right leader Marine Le Pen so that she can be prosecuted for inciting racial hatred.
In 2010, the president of the National Front party likened Muslim street prayers in France to the Nazi occupation, sparking widespread condemnation.
Many Muslim leaders have blamed Le Pen’s fiery rhetoric on Islam and immigration for a rise in Islamic intolerance and xenophobia in France. But she insists she is neither a racist nor xenophobic, but simply a patriot.
"I want you to understand that there is no reason to ask the French to accept things that no other people in the world would accept. It's as simple as that,” she tells Al Jazeera's Folly Bah Thibault.
“I feel hatred towards nobody, but I have immense love for my people and for my country that I will defend in all circumstances."