French MEP Nicolas Bay, the vice president of the national right Reconquête party, saw his parliamentary immunity lifted in a plenary vote at the European Parliament last Thursday, February 2nd, following accusations of ‘hate speech’ by French prosecutors.
Bay, who formerly served as an MEP for Rassemblement National (RN), joined Eric Zemmour’s Reconquête party in the months leading up to the first round of France’s presidential elections. Following Zemmour’s lackluster performance at the ballot boxes where the journalist-turned-politician managed to garner some 7% of the national vote, Bay went on to retain his seat in the European Parliament—only now as a deputy for Reconquête.
The European Parliament’s lifting of Bay’s immunity came in response to a request from the Évreux public prosecutor’s office. Previously, prosecutors had placed the Reconquête MEP under investigation for “incitement to racial hatred” over a video posted to social media in May of 2021, where he denounced the future construction of a mosque with a minaret.
In the 44-second video, Bay, while standing in front of a mosque under construction in the commune of Évreux in the region of Normandy, said:
It is our Norman landscapes that are now disfigured, and political Islam that is spreading throughout France and even here in Normandy. We must put an end to this drift, we must stop communitarianism, when we know that it imports delinquency, criminality, and terrorism, as we saw with the murder of Samuel Paty in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine a few months ago, who was originally from Évreux, from a neighborhood very close to here.
Subsequently, an investigation targeting Bay, at the time an MEP for Rassemblement National (RN), was opened by the prosecutor’s office after left-wing elected officials on the Évreux city council along with the Great Mosque of Paris, one of the primary governing bodies of Islam in France, filed legal complaints.
The European Parliament’s Committee on Legal Affairs proposal—which 18 MEPs voted in favor of while five voted against—alleges Bay made “assertions linking the construction of mosques to the dissemination of political Islam on French territory and the perpetration of terrorist acts.” Per established parliamentary protocol, the proposal must now make it through a plenary for final ratification.
Bay, on the heels of the plenary vote on Thursday, posted a video on Twitter saying: “The docile majority, the servile majority … voted to waiver my parliamentary immunity … We are not giving up, I will fight in French courts.”
The same day of the vote, Reconquête President Éric Zemmour defended Bay in a post on social media, writing: “You have all my dear support Nicolas Bay against those who do not have the courage to denounce and fight the conquering Islam in France and Europe. Political condemnations will not silence us.”
In comments given exclusively to The European Conservative, MEP Nicolas Bay addressed the action taken by the European Parliament:
In front of the construction site of this mosque in Guichainville—being built with the support of the municipal Council—I simply stated the obvious: mass immigration favours communitarianism which leads to Islamism and, sometimes, to terrorism. The complaint for “incitement to hatred” or “racial hatred” is a classic method in France to try to hide the truth and to restrict a little more the freedom of expression of conservatives and defenders of European civilisation. Parliamentary immunity exists in principle precisely to prevent this kind of political pressure … Except that the European Parliament does not judge in law: the decision to waive an immunity is purely political. It is all the more scandalous that, during the same session, the Parliament refused to lift the immunity of Nadine Morano, whose immunity waiving was requested for similar remarks made in similar circumstances. But it doesn’t matter. I will defend myself in court, serene and even proud to have defied this stifling and noxious political correctness.
In response to the question of what’s next, Bay said,
Éric Zemmour was convicted a few years ago for saying that “most drug dealers are Black and Arab.” The Court of first instance (lower court) is known in France to be highly politicised. He should have appealed. The concept of “incitement to hatred” is very vague, there is a lot of room for interpretation. It is an unhealthy legal concept, often politically exploited.
As for me, I have been saying the same thing for years. The defence of our identity and our European civilisation is the core of my political commitment. I will not be silenced. I will continue to denounce the cowardice of the public authorities as well as the Islamisation and the endemic delinquency that are plaguing my country.