Idol Chatter

bridget_bardot_idol.jpgFrance is no stranger to racial tension–just over two years ago the country was rife with riots as young Arabs and North African Muslims protested the death of two immigrant youths, opening up old wounds of racial, economic, and social discontent. Muslim French women who want to wear the hijab often face bans in schools. This is a country where it seems secularism is prized over religious freedom.
But apparently in France, you can only go so far in voicing racial slurs, as demonstrated by former French film star Brigitte Bardot ongoing trial for inciting “racial hatred” against France’s Muslim population. Bardot, 73, has been fined four times for racial slurs, and the latest trial comes on the heels of her comments that French Muslims are “destroying our country and imposing its acts.”

Prosecutors are asking for a two-month suspended sentence and a fine of 15,000 euros. Europe’s largest Muslim community is in France, home to five million Muslims, making up eight percent of France’s population.
It’s an interesting situation of you look at it from an American perspective. Here, people have said similar things, and worse, about Muslims and many other minority groups. We have freedom of speech, but we also have freedom of religion, which is threatened in France. Though as a Muslim I’m glad Bardot is getting reprimanded for her comments, I don’t see what good it’ll do, when the larger picture shows French Muslims and other minority groups still get a mostly unwelcome reception in their own country.

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