Speaking at a 2010 gathering in Lyon regarding group prayers in public areas she said "for those who speak a lot about World War II, if that was occupation, then we could also talk about this, because it's occupation of territory. There are no armored vehicles, no enemy troops, but it is an occupation all the same and it weighs heavily on people."
- Le Pen seeks ban on Jewish headwear
- Israeli enables Le Pen to run for president
- Marine Le Pen under fire for Muslim remark
In December 2010 French authorities appealed to the European Parliament to lift the controversial leader of the National Front party's immunity as a European Parliament member (MEP) so that she could be prosecuted in her own country.
"There is a red line between freedom of speech and inciting racial hatred," British MEP Sajjad Karim told the Telegraph. "I, along with many other MEPs, today voted to drop Ms Le Pen's immunity and I am confident that the majority of the European Parliament will follow our lead in July."
Marine Le Pen at a National Front rally (Photo: AFP)
While the daughter of the late right-wing extremist Jean-Marie Le Pen is facing prosecution for her extreme rhetoric on the issue, France banned public prayer in 2011, a decision many see as emblematic of its difficulties in integrating its Muslim minority into the fabric of its society.
Jean-Marie Le Pen, who has had several convictions for racism and anti-Semitism, shocked Europe in 2002 by coming in second in the French presidential elections.
With an estimated six million Muslims, France is the European country with the largest number of Muslim citizens.
- Receive Ynetnews updates
directly to your desktop