SHAFAQNA – A key adviser to Marine Le Pen has been found guilty of inciting hatred against Muslims.
Robert Menard, mayor of Beziers, was fined 2,000 euros for saying there were too many Muslim children in his city’s schools.
It comes after Ms Le Pen announced she was temporarily stepping down as leader of the Front National party to concentrate on her presidential bid.
The move has been seen as an attempt to distance herself from the party’s racist image and embrace a wider range of voters.
During an interview on TV, Menard said: “In one of the classrooms in my town centre, 91 per cent of children are Muslim. Obviously this is a problem”
He had also posted a tweet comparing a school picture from the 1970s to one taken recently which he said proved the conspiracy theory of a “great replacement,” which claims Muslim immigrants are replacing the traditional French population.
The prosecutor said Menard had reduced children “to their religion, regardless of whether they have French nationality or do not practice”.
Menard was convicted of an “incitement to hatred and discrimination”.
In a tweet sent after being convicted, he said he was “obviously appealing”.