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French minister slammed for ‘unequal civilisations’ comment

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France’s Interior Minister Claude Gueant (pictured) has drawn angry criticism from opposition members after suggesting in a speech to a right-wing student group that all civilisations are “not of equal value”.


AFP - French Interior Minister Claude Gueant, who is also in charge of the immigration portfolio, proclaimed on Saturday that not all civilisations have equal value, with some more advanced than others.

"Contrary to what the left's relativist ideology says, for us, all civilisations are not of equal value," Gueant told a conference in the French parliament building but closed to the media.

"Those which defend humanity seem to us to be more advanced than those that do not," he argued in his speech at a meeting organised by a right-wing students group.

"Those which defend liberty, equality and fraternity, seem to us superior to those which accept tyranny, the subservience of women, social and ethnic hatred," he went on his speech, a copy of which was obtained by AFP.

He stressed the need to "protect our civilisation."

The interior minister's comments provoked a torrent of criticism on the Internet, three months a head of a French presidential election.

On his Twitter account Harlem Desir, the number two in the French Socialist Party, slammed "the pitiful provocation from a minister reduced to a mouthpiece for the FN (far-right National Front party)."

The ruling UMP party is in "electoral and moral decline," he added.

For her part, Cecile Duflot, national secretary of the French Green Party "Europe Ecologie les Verts," wrote of a "return to three centuries ago. Contemptible."

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