A French mayor has appeared in court on charges of inciting racial hatred after saying there were too many Muslim schoolchildren in his city.
Robert Ménard, who is mayor of the southern town of Béziers and an ally of Marine Le Pen’s Front National party, faces the charges after telling a news channel: “In a class in the city centre in my town, 91 per cent of the children are Muslims. Obviously, this is a problem. There are limits to tolerance.”
Mr Ménard has remained defiant in court, saying he did not want to “stigmatise” anyone but say what is happening in French schools.
The former Socialist and co-founder of Reporters Without Borders faces a fine 1,800 euros if convicted, with a possible prison sentence if he does not pay within 60 days.
He also caused controversy in May 2015 when he counted the names of schoolchildren in his city to see how many were Muslim, despite the fact collecting data on people’s race and religion is illegal in France.
Darul Ihsan Media Desk