If this story turns out to be accurate, it appears as though the spirit of “Je Suis Charlie” is very much dead in France. A French Mayor was reportedly committed to a mental institution against his will after he posted ‘Islamophobic’ comments on Twitter. The story began when Robert Chardon, mayor of the southern French town of Venelles, became embroiled in a Twitter debate with former French president Nicolas Sarkozy. 

Chardon insisted that France “ban the Muslim faith in France” and instead “promote the practice of the Christian faith.” While Chardon’s remarks may be seen as bigoted and offensive to many, what reportedly happened next was infinitely more shocking. A translated version of an AFP story states that Chardon was “forcibly hospitalized” as a result of “incoherent statements” made on Twitter. Press reports about Chardon’s comments in English-language media contained no details of Chardon being detained in a psychiatric ward. Local officials subsequently denied the AFP report and claimed that Chardon had been hospitalized for cancer treatment, although the mayor had been undergoing such treatment for months. FULL REPORT