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We will also post relevant news worthy items and information on Human rights issues, racism, extremist individuals and groups and far right political parties from around the world although predominantly Britain.

Monday, 7 June 2010

French minister Hortefeux fined for racism

A French court has fined Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux for making racist comments about a young party activist of Algerian origin.

The court fined Mr Hortefeux 750 euros (£622) and ordered that he pay 2,000 euros to an anti-racism group.

Mr Hortefeux was recorded saying: "We always need one. It's when there are lots of them that there are problems."

He has said he was talking about the number of photos being taken, rather than people of Arab origin.

A lawyer for Mr Hortefeux said he would appeal against he ruling.

The comments were made in September and were broadcast in a video clip that circulated on the internet.

'Our little Arab'
Mr Hortefeux was joking with a small group of activists from the ruling UMP party in south-west France.

Immediately before Mr Hortefeux's controversial remark, one activist is heard saying: "Amin is a Catholic. He eats pork and drinks alcohol."

Mr Hortefeux then says: "Ah, well that won't do at all. He doesn't match the prototype."

A woman is then heard to say: "He is one of us... he is our little Arab."

The interior minister then says: "We always need one. It's when there are lots of them that there are problems."

The court ruled that his remark was "incontestably offensive, if not contemptuous".

The court did not issue a criminal conviction, judging that Mr Hortefeux had not intended the comments to be heard in public.

It found him guilty instead of the lesser offence of racial insult, AFP news agency reported.

At the time the video emerged, the opposition Socialist Party called for his resignation, saying the comment was "shameful and unspeakable".

Mr Hortefeux is a friend and longstanding ally of President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Mr Hortefeux is known for a tough approach on immigration, and served as immigration minister from 2007-2009.

The activist himself defended the minister in an interview with the newspaper Le Monde.

BBC News

French far-right heir hits out again at ‘unpatriotic’ team

The likely heir to the leadership of France’s far-right National Front party, Marine Le Pen, yesterday for the second time slammed the French squad for in her view lacking patriotic values.

Le Pen, considered favourite to take over from her father, National Front leader Jean-Marie Le Pen, had on Thursday accused the team of having “another nationality at heart” and repeated her claims yesterday , focusing her displeasure on Franck Ribery and Nicolas Anelka.

“I think that when you are a representative of France, and notably at the World Cup, ... that should be a place where you express your patriotism,” Marine Le Pen told Canal+ television.

“I see players who are spoilt brats who have made a number of declarations ... expressing their pride in their country of origin,” Le Pen went on in allusion to the fact that many of the French squad are of either African origin or come originally from overseas departments and territories.

“I would like them to express their pride in the country which they are competing for.”

“When Monsieur Ribery appears wrapped in the Algerian flag as he did in October 2009 ...” she went on, breaking off in mid-sentence. That comment related to a picture which appeared on an internet site run by friends of Marine Le Pen, the photo having originally appeared on other sites.

Jean-Marie Le Pen caused controversy in 2006 by complaining about the number of black players in the national team – he also made similar comments in 1998 when a multi-racial French side won the World Cup on home soil.

That triumph was widely seen as providing a boost to integration of different ethnic groups in France.

Marine Le Pen had in her initial comments accused players of not singing the national anthem as well as wrapping themselves in other nations’ flags.

Yesterday, she said of Chelsea striker Anelka that “he goes off explaining how he does not want to pay taxes in France.

That comment came after an interview the player gave to a French paper last year when he said: “I would like to live in France but it’s not possible. You know why – tax levels.”

For Marine Le Pen, “this France team no longer represents France – it represents Nike, TF1 (television), the Credit Agricole (bank), (telecoms firm) SFR. It represents money.” — AFP

The Star

Far-right anti-Islam party set to double seats in Dutch election

The far-right Party for Freedom, which has campaigned on a ticket of ending the "Islamic invasion", is expected to double its representation in the Dutch parliament, giving it enough seats to become a potential ruling coalition candidate.

The party is predicted to win 18 seats in the forthcoming elections. It currently holds nine.

Led by anti-Islam MP Geert Wilders, the party claims that 40 per cent of social security payments go to non-Western immigrants and that people of Moroccan origin are suspected of committing crime five times more often than the indigenous Dutch.

"The sluice gates are wide open", Mr Wilders said in a campaign video that showed planes landing in Holland as women in headscarves outnumber natives in shopping street scenes.

"Every day we are confronted with mass immigration: headscarves, burqas, minarets, social security dependence, crime ... it never ends," he laments as dramatic music plays in the background of the clip released ahead of June 9 parliamentary elections.

"Whole neighbourhoods are being Islamised."

Mr Wilders' bold move onto the shaky ground of multi-cultural tolerance, for long a matter of Dutch pride, "has prompted other parties to adopt a stricter approach to security and the integration of Muslims", said political analyst Martin Rosema of Twente University.

Many parties' manifestos now propose an immigration cut, mainly for the low skilled, and harsher treatment of foreign criminals.

Mr Wilders' PVV came first in Almere and second in The Hague in local elections in March - the only cities it contested in its first-ever municipal campaign.

But the PVV finds itself in opposition in both cities as other parties formed coalitions to exclude it, a situation observers expect to be repeated on the national stage.

Mr Wilders has called his political enemies "multi-cultural cuddlers".

"What the Netherlands needs is a stop to immigration for people from Muslim countries," said the politician who has also called for a "head rag tax" on headscarves.

Twenty per cent of the Netherlands' 16.5 million-strong population is of immigrant origin.

The liberal VVD party is in the lead ahead of the parliamentary elections.

Opinion polls expect almost 40 seats out of 150 in the Dutch lower house of parliament to go to the Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD), which proposes severe public spending cuts in the first elections in a eurozone country since the Greek crisis struck.

The Telegraph