French President Jacques Chirac was not remorseful for condemning
the Muslim community following what appeared to be an anti-Semitic attack
on a 23-year-old woman in Paris last week, but was later revealed to be a
"I have no regrets about what I said," said Chirac during the annual
Bastille Day interview broadcast live on French television on Wednesday.
"We are in a time where undoubtedly, we are witnessing racist events
involving our Jewish and Muslim compatriots and others, too. Sometimes just
simple Frenchmen are attacked because they do not belong to such or such
community. This is unacceptable. This is against our social contract, our
ethics. And when there is a manipulation, the manipulator must be punished
according to the full weight of the law," said Chirac.
Chirac had been criticized by groups like the The Movement Against Racism
and For Friendship Amongst Peoples (MRAP) for unjustly rushing to condemn
France's Muslim community for perpetrating the "anti-Semitic aggression."
Marie-Leonie Leblanc, 23, claimed in a police report that she and her baby
were attacked by several young Arab men who believed she was Jewish on a
suburban train on the outskirts of Paris on Friday. She said they had
painted swastikas on her stomach, cut her shirt and her hair and stolen
some of the contents of her handbag. She also said they overturned her
stroller, causing her baby to fall out. She also claimed that no passengers
came to her assistance. The story was reported throughout the world and
invoked hasty condemnation by French officials...