The French government ordered the closing of a mosque in Allonnes near Le Mans for having hosted “radical Islam” and “legitimizing terrorist attacks”. Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said the directors and imams of the mosque allowed actions that went against “the values ââof the Republic”.
The mosque was closed for six months, Darmanin said, adding that the bank accounts of mosque administrators were also seized.
The charges against the mosque include inciting hatred towards France, Westerners, Christians and Jews. “The sermons have spread in this mosque cultivating hatred towards France,” Darmanin wrote on Twitter, defending the closure. The administration said that in addition to hatred and discrimination, “the mosque also promoted” the establishment of Sharia law “in France.
In addition to the mosque, a Koranic school it houses was also closed, claiming that “armed jihad” was being promoted in the school. A sign on the school door said on Wednesday that classes were “suspended until further notice.”
The French interior minister also added that plans are underway to close seven other associations or religious buildings by the end of the year. The minister also announced the closure of 13 religious associations since President Emmanuel Macron took office at the Elysee Palace.
The governorate of Sarthe issued a statement on October 25 saying that the mosque with a congregation of 300 in Allonnes was closed for six months on the grounds that it “defended radical Islam“. The purge was part of a campaign that has been criticized around the world by international human rights organizations as well as world leaders, especially in predominantly Muslim countries.
President Emmanuel Macron launches sweeping measures to deal with threat of Islamist separatism
The purge is part of a campaign launched by France to combat the threat of Islamism which continues to increase in the country and the horrific manifestation of which was observed last year in the form of the brutal murder of ‘a French teacher for reproducing images of the Prophet Muhammad. .
Samuel Paty, a schoolteacher, was publicly beheaded by a radical Islamist for showing a caricature of the Prophet Muhammad to his students. He was beheaded by a Russian refugee Abdullakh Abouyezidovich who was inspired by an online campaign against Paty for alleged blasphemy.
The incident had triggered nationwide awareness of the threats posed by the prevalence of Islamism and the institutions that have played a vital role in its support and promotion. French President Emmanuel Macron decided to seize the nettle and announced that his government would take action to curb what he called Islamist separatism.
92 of the 2,500 mosques in total were firm down as part of the French government’s crackdown on Islamic extremism since September 2020. The residence permits of 36,000 foreigners have been canceled on the grounds that they represented a threat to public order.
French government passes anti-separatism bill to curb the rise of Islamism
The French government also adopted earlier this year the “anti-separatism” law supposed to counter the threat of attacks carried out by Islamists. The bill contained a series of measures on civil service neutrality, the fight against online hatred and the protection of civil servants such as teachers.
There is provision in the law for willfully endangering the life of others by disseminating information about a person’s private life. He is liable to penalties of up to three years in prison and a fine of â¬ 45,000.
Another important measure of the bill indicates that associations will have to be signatories of a Republican employment contract to benefit from state subsidies.
The law granted the authorities wide powers to intervene in mosques and associations on matters relating to administration as well as matters relating to the finances of associations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).