[QODLink]
Talk to Al Jazeera

Marine Le Pen: The threat of radical Islam

The leader of the far-right National Front party explains why she sees Muslim immigration as a grave threat to France.
Last Modified: 17 Dec 2012 13:41

The news became public only a few days ago - French authorities asking the European Parliament to lift the immunity of far-right leader Marine Le Pen so that she can be prosecuted for inciting racial hatred.

In 2010, the president of the National Front party likened Muslim street prayers in France to the Nazi occupation, sparking widespread condemnation.

Many Muslim leaders have blamed Le Pen’s fiery rhetoric on Islam and immigration for a  rise in Islamic intolerance and xenophobia in France. But she insists she is neither a racist nor xenophobic, but simply a patriot.

"I want you to understand that there is no reason to ask the French to accept things that no other people in the world would accept. It's as simple as that,” she tells Al Jazeera's Folly Bah Thibault.

“I feel hatred towards nobody, but I have immense love for my people and for my country that I will defend in all circumstances."

And it is a discourse that is increasingly appealing to many French, especially during these tough economic times.

High unemployment, factory closures and rising food prices have given unexpected credibility to Le Pen’s anti-Europe, anti-immigration stance.

And her efforts to revamp the National Front’s previously overtly racist and fascist image has also led to a surge in public support.

Le Pen won 18 per cent of the vote in the first round of France’s presidential election in April, the party’s highest-ever score.

In this episode Talk to Al Jazeera sat down with Le Pen in the European Parliament in Strasbourg for a wide ranging conversation that covers her thoughts on Islam and immigration in Europe.

Le Pen, who is serving a second term as a member of the European Parliament, also talks about the EU, Syria, as well as Libya where she says it was wrong to get rid of the Libyan leader, Muammar Gaddafi.

Talk to Al Jazeera can be seen each week at the following times GMT: Saturday: 0430; Sunday: 0830, 1930; and Monday: 1430.

Click here for more Talk to Al Jazeera

365

Source:
Al Jazeera
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
As Snowden awaits Russian visa renewal, the world mulls role of NSA and expects more revelations from document trove.
A handful of agencies that provide tours to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea say business is growing.
A political power struggle masquerading as religious strife grips Nigeria - with mixed-faith couples paying the price.
The current surge in undocumented child migrants from Central America has galvanized US anti-immigration groups.
Absenteeism among doctors at government hospitals is rife, prompting innovative efforts to ensure they turn up for work.
join our mailing list