France: Daughter of Le Pen under fire for Muslim ‘occupation’ claims

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The daughter of French far-right leader Jean-Marie Le Pen came under fire for comparing Muslims praying in the streets outside overcrowded mosques in France to the Nazi occupation., AFP reports

Marine Le Pen said Friday at a rally of the anti-immigrant National Front that there were “ten to fifteen” places in France where Muslims worshipped in the streets outside mosques when these were full.

“For those who want to talk a lot about World War II, if it’s about occupation, then we could also talk about it (Muslim prayers in the streets), because that is occupation of territory,” she said at the gathering in Lyon.

“It is an occupation of sections of the territory, of districts in which religious laws apply. It’s an occupation,” she said at the rally that was part of her bid to take the party leadership when her father steps down in January.

“There are of course no tanks, there are no soldiers but it is nevertheless an occupation and it weighs heavily on local residents,” the 42-year-old noted.

The comments sparked condemnation from politicians from President Nicolas Sarkozy’s ruling UMP party and from the opposition Socialists and the Greens.

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This post was last updated: Nov. 21, 2013