A French mayor is facing charges for allegedly inciting hatred against Muslims in relation to his remarks in 2016 that there are too many Muslim children at his city’s schools, and implying that migrants are “replacing” the French population.
Robert Ménard, the mayor of Béziers appeared in court last Wednesday to address the following statement he made in September 2016 to French news channel LCI: “In a class in the city center in my town, 91 percent of the children are Muslims. Obviously, this is a problem. There are limits to tolerance.”
According to news agency RT, Ménard also tweeted this on the first day of school in that same month: “These classes represent the most striking proof of the #GreatReplacement in progress. Just look at old class photos.”
The Great Replacement refers to a hypothetical “replacement” of the French population by mass immigration, says the reports. The phrase was originally coined by French writer Renaud Camus, who was fined for inciting hatred in 2014.
— Robert Ménard (@RobertMenardFR) September 1, 2016
Ménard reportedly defended himself to the court, insisting that his controversial statements were not intended to “stigmatize” any particular race but were merely telling the truth about what is occurring in French schools.
“I do not find it desirable for children and their mothers that there are ghetto schools. And to find solutions, it is necessary to say what it is,” he told the court.
If found guilty by the court, Ménard faces a fine of 1,800 euros to be paid within 60 days. Failing to make the payment on time could result in jail time.
Breitbart reports that the mayor also created a stir in May 2015 “when he counted the names of schoolchildren in his city to see how many were Muslim, estimating a figure of 64.6 percent, despite the fact collecting data on people’s race and religion is illegal in France.”
To add fuel to the fire, Ménard was also captured on video in September 2015 going door-to-door in housing areas where illegal migrants were squatting in apartments. He was accompanied by an armed police officer and an interpreter, saying to the migrants that they are not welcome in his city.
“You are not welcome in this town. You came into this apartment, breaking the door, stealing the water. People have to pay for this water, but you are just stealing water and electricity. It is not allowed in this town to just come into an apartment and to live in it without permission,” said Ménard.
“So, I say again, you are not welcome in this town. If you had behaved like a decent person, you would have been welcome. You might be welcomed acting like this in big cities, but I’m not ready to do that here. You act like we have no choice but to accept you,” he added.
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