** Pas Encore, Brigitte! French Actress Convicted for Anti-Muslim Rants**
In “And God Created Woman,” the 1956 film that launched French actress Brigitte Bardot to stardom, Bardot portrays a precocious teenage orphan who turns small-town life on its head. Fifty years later, the real-life Bardot is still antagonizing French society — and paying for it. Earlier today, reports the AP, a Paris court convicted Bardot of provoking discrimination and racial hatred for writing that Muslims are destroying France. She was fined $23,325 and ordered to pay $1,555 in damages to MRAP, a French anti-racism group.
MRAP filed a suit last year over a letter Bardot, 73, sent to then-Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy. In the letter to Sarkozy, now France’s president, Bardot said France is “tired of being led by the nose by this population that is destroying us, destroying our country by imposing its acts.” Bardot, an animal rights activist, was reportedly referring to the Muslim feast of Aid el-Kebir, celebrated by slaughtering sheep.
French anti-racism laws prevent inciting hatred and discrimination on racial or religious or racial grounds. Bardot had been convicted four times previously for inciting racial hatred.
Bardot’s lawyer, Francois-Xavier Kelidjian, said he would talk to her about the possibility of an appeal. “She is tired of this type of proceedings,” he said. “She has the impression that people want to silence her. She will not be silenced in her defense of animal rights.”
French prosecutors are tired, too. This will be the fifth time Bardot has been fined for inciting racial hatred since 1997. Last month, prosecutor Anne de Fontette told the court she was seeking a tougher sentence than usual, adding: “I am a little tired of prosecuting Mrs. Bardot.”
In France such “crimes” can carry a jail term, especially for multiple offences. I assume the court let her off with a fine out of deference for her celebrity and perhaps age.