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French court to jail 'anti-white' racist for attack
A court in the southern city of Toulon convicted a man of north African origins of racially abusing a white man before punching and headbutting him. File photo: Mike Cogh

French court to jail 'anti-white' racist for attack

Published: 04 Jun 2013 10:12 GMT+02:00
Updated: 04 Jun 2013 10:12 GMT+02:00

A court in the southern city of Toulon sentenced a local man to a year in prison this week, with nine months suspended, after he racially abused a white man and later attacked him.

The assailant, aged in his thirties and of north African origins, was found to have shouted "You dirty white, I'm going to smash you. This is a place for Arabs," at the victim, who was in a carpark with five friends, both male and female, on the night of May 10th.

The attacker, accompanied by his own entourage and already drunk, according to TF1 television, then punched and head-butted two of the group, who were all aged in their twenties.

Police were called to the scene and arrested the assailant.

A court in Toulon on Monday convicted the thirty-something of collective assault and public injury, the latter relating to his racist abuse.

He was sentenced to a year in prison, but will only serve three months, after the court put him on probation for nine months.

This is only the latest incident of 'anti-white racism' to hit France.

In April, The Local reported that a trial had begun over the racially-motivated beating of a white Frenchman. The attackers allegedly shouted “dirty white" and "dirty French" before assaulting the victim.

A fact that risked clouding the issue for some is that the man accused of carrying out the attack is white himself, according to French daily Le Parisien. 

Significantly, the prosecution’s stance was supported by the International League against Racism and anti-Semitism (LICRA).

"We are acting just like we would for any kind of racism case, whether it's anti-Semitic or anti-black," Vice president of LICRA Philippe Schmidt told The Local at the time. "We cannot just pull a blanket over our eyes because this is a case of anti-white racism."

"It's obvious that incidents of anti-white or anti-French racism are less common, but that does not mean we have to ignore them," he added.

The issue of anti-white racism is a sensitive subject in France. Up until recently it was a concept invoked mainly by members of France's far-right organizations.

However, leader of the opposition UMP party, Jean-François Copé, provoked uproar last October when he claimed “anti-white sentiment is thriving in some French neighbourhoods."

"Some people, of whom many are French nationals, despise other French people because they don't follow the same religion," Copé added.

Dan MacGuill (dan.macguill@thelocal.com)

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