France's Marine Le Pen goes on trial over Muslim remarks

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Head of far-right Front National accused of inciting racial hatred for comparing Muslims praying in the street to the Nazi occupation.

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French National Front leader Marine Le Pen has appeared in court in Lyon, to answer charges of inciting racial hatred, for comparing Muslims praying in the street to the Nazi occupation, reports the BBC.

She made the comments at a rally in the city in 2010 when she was fighting for the leadership of the party.

Ms Le Pen insisted on Tuesday she did not commit any offence.

And the prosecutor called for her acquittal, saying she was not referring to the whole Muslim community.

The National Front (FN) leader had only spoken about a specific number of people and was exercising her freedom of speech, Bernard Reynaud told the court.

Ms Le Pen's anti-immigration and anti-EU message is attracting increasing support in France and her party is hoping to win two French regions in December local elections.

It was during a campaign speech in Lyon in 2010, a few months before she became leader, that Marine Le Pen spoke out about Muslims worshipping in the streets because mosques were full.

Read more of this report from the BBC.

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