Brigitte Bardot—French sex symbol turned animal-rights activist—went on trial this week for “inciting racial hatred” against Muslims. Bardot, 73, wrote a letter last year to Nicolas Sarkozy—then Interior minister, now president—complaining about the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha, which involves the slaughter of a sheep. “I am fed up with being under the thumb of this population which is destroying us, destroying our country and imposing its acts,” she wrote. Prosecutor Anne de Fontette is pushing for a two-year suspended prison sentence and a fine of 15,000 euros, saying the stiff penalty is justified because this is the fifth time Bardot has been charged with the same offense. "I am a little tired of prosecuting Ms. Bardot,” the prosecutor said. (London Guardian)
What the commentators said
“She may be better remembered as the revolutionary sex kitten of 1960s French cinema,” said Bruce Crumley in Time.com, “but these days Brigitte Bardot is better known as a standard-bearer of the anti-immigrant wing of France's political spectrum.” Her lawyers said the parts of her letter branded as Islamophobia, however, are much easier to understand when taken as part of her tireless commitment to animal rights, which French politicians and activists around the world have praised.
“Bardot has never been shy in expressing her disdain for her France being overrun by its former colonies of African immigrants and especially Muslims,” said Monsters & Critics. In 2000, the former “muse of filmmakers” was convicted for comments in her book Pluto's Square, specifically the chapter "Open Letter to My Lost France" in which she grieved for " . . . my country, France, my homeland, my land is again invaded by an overpopulation of foreigners, especially Muslims."
It just goes to show that the life of a former sex kitten is not easy, said Thomas Landen in The Brussels Journal. “If Brigitte Bardot had been fifty years younger, French President Nicolas Sarkozy might have made her France’s First Lady and her nude pictures might have been sold to help charities in Cambodia. Now, instead, the French are taking her to court.”