French former footballer Lilian Thuram found himself at the centre of a major controversy after saying racism is part of French and European culture [File/Reuters]

Late last month, French far-right figurehead Marion Marechal hosted a conference in Paris featuring the country’s most prominent conservative polemicists. In an enthusiastic speech to the hundreds of attendees, the 29-year-old niece of the National Rally leader Marine Le Pen claimed that the French people risk “becoming a minority in the land of their ancestors” and asked her supporters to help her protect the white European culture from what she calls the “great replacement” by mass migration and “Islamisation”. 

Controversial right-wing journalist Eric Zemmour, who has twice been convicted of inciting racial hatred, delivered the keynote address at the event. His violent diatribe was focused on a different threat supposedly facing French whiteness: The war on the heterosexual

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