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Brigitte Bardot Convicted over Islam Comments

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Jun 03, 2008 | 9:51am EDT

Legendary actress Brigitte Bardot has been fined $23,325 after she was found guilty of inciting racial hatred in her native France.

The former screen siren-turned-animal rights activist was accused of publicly criticizing the Muslim religious festival of Eid al-Adha--during which sheep are slaughtered as a sacrifice--in an open letter to French president Nicolas Sarkozy in December 2006.

In the letter she said, "I am fed up with being under the thumb of this (Muslim) population which is destroying us, destroying our country and imposing its acts."

The Contempt star was convicted of the racial slur in a Paris court on Tuesday.

She faced a possible two-month suspended prison sentence for the charge, but was instead just fined $23,325 and ordered to pay an additional $1,555 in damages to leading French anti-racism group Movement Against Racism and for Friendship Between Peoples (MRAP).

The 73-year-old's lawyer, Francois-Xavier Kelidjian, is now looking into appealing the ruling--but he insists the constant legal woes will not stop Bardot from voicing her opinions.

He says, "She is tired of this type of proceedings. She has the impression that people want to silence her. She will not be silenced in her defense of animal rights."

Bardot, who quit the film industry in the 1970s to pursue a career as an animal rights activist, is no stranger to the law--she has been fined for similar charges of inciting racial hatred on four prior occasions, starting in 1997.

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