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France

Far-right leader says France is ‘least racist country’

© Photo: AFP / FRANCE 24

Text by Joseph BAMAT

Latest update : 2013-11-11

France is the ‘least racist country in the world’, far-right National Front leader Marine Le Pen told FRANCE 24 on Sunday in response to questions over a mayoral candidate from her party who compared France’s justice minister to a monkey.

Far-right National Front leader Marine Le Pen said Sunday that France was the “least racist country in the world” following an incident in which her party ejected one of its mayoral candidates for comparing French Justice Minister Christiane Taubira – a black politician – to a monkey.

“France is the least racist country in the world. Is that clear?" a clearly upset Le Pen said during an interview with FRANCE 24, France Inter radio and Le Parisien newspaper. “I see it. French people do not judge people by their skin colour or their origin. As long as people are well behaved, respectful of French people and of France’s values, they have welcomed them. Welcomed too many, in fact.”

Le Pen was reacting to a question over an FN mayoral candidate in a small town in France’s north who posted a picture on a social netowrking site comparing Minister Taubira to a monkey dressed up in clothes, and similar insults by protesters in the western city of Angers on October 25.

Racism on the rise?

Taubira, along with other prominent black French people, last week called attention racism in France, with France’s Human Rights watchdog in March saying acts and threats of a racist nature were on the rise.

The anti-immigration leader said those figures “were not true”, but highlighted growing threats against French Jewish people “mostly by Islamic fundamentalists.”

Le Pen on Sunday raged against Taubira for her comment that the National Front preferred to see “black people in trees, Arabs in the ocean, gays in the Seine (river), and Jews in the oven,” in response to the Facebook incident.

“It’s an artificial issue,” Le Pen said of racism in France. “It's taking attention away from unemployment, higher taxes and worsening poverty.

Date created : 2013-11-11

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