Should a world famous actress be allowed to denounce an ‘overpopulation’ by foreigners? By Michèle Finck.
After retiring from her career as a supermodel and actress, Brigitte Bardot hit the headlines several times for her controversial remarks about the role of Islam in French society. Indeed, she was convicted of incitement of racial hatred (under this French law) no fewer than five times – mainly for comments highly critical of France’s immigration and assimilation policies.
Bardot’s first offence, for which she was found guilty in 1997, was to use a newspaper column to complain of the ‘foreign overpopulation’ of France. In 2000, she was convicted for having written in her book Pluto’s Square that ‘my country, France, my homeland, my land is again invaded by an overpopulation of foreigners, especially Muslims.’ In 2004, she was found guilty for having published another book, A Cry in the Silence, in which she established a generalised link between Islam and the terrorist attacks that took place on 11 September 2001 and again argued that immigration was leading to a ‘Islamisation of France’. 2008 brought a fourth conviction after a letter she had written to Nicolas Sarkozy (then France’s minister of the interior, known for his hard-line stance against immigration) in which she referred to France’s Muslim population as ‘this population which leads us by the nose and destroys us and our country’ had been leaked to the press.