Le Pen convicted of inciting racial hatred

France’s highest court today convicted far-right leader Jean-Marie Le Pen of inciting racial hatred for telling a newspaper in 2003 that Muslims would one day run France and strike fear into the hearts of the non-Muslim population.

The ruling by the Court of Cassation came just over two years after Le Pen was originally convicted in the same case.

In February 2005, an appeals court confirmed the 2004 ruling against the president of the National Front party.

Le Pen was ordered to pay a €10,000 fine for his remarks in the daily Le Monde and an additional €5,000 in interest and damages to the League of Human Rights, which had filed suit.

Le Pen’s party blames Muslim immigrants for an array of social woes in France, which has western Europe’s largest Muslim population.

The National Front contends, for instance, that Muslim immigrants are stealing jobs from the French.

The National Front leader is looking to run in next year’s presidential election.

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