A French mayor has appeared in court on charges of inciting racial hatred after saying there were too many Muslim schoolchildren in his city.

Robert Ménard, who is mayor of the southern town of Béziers and an ally of Marine Le Pen’s Front National party, faces the charges after telling a news channel: “In a class in the city centre in my town, 91 per cent of the children are Muslims. Obviously, this is a problem. There are limits to tolerance.”

RTL reports that he also tweeted: “These classes represent the most striking proof of the #GreatReplacement in progress. Just look at old class photos.”

The ‘great replacement’ is a term coined by writer Renaud Camus who spoke of the French people being “replaced” through mass immigration. His comments led to him being fined in 2014.

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