French authorities plan to shut down a mosque where ‘targeting Christians, homosexuals, Jews’ are preached
The extreme preaching of an imam at a mosque in France has prompted the interior minister to close it for up to six months.
Gerald Darmanin told Cnews TV that he had “triggered” the closure of the mosque in Beauvais, a 50,000-person town 100 km north of Paris, due to “unacceptable” preaching.
In his speeches, the mosque’s imam “targets Christians, homosexuals, and Jews.”
In the Oise region, authorities had already announced plans to close the mosque due to lectures that incited hatred, violence, and “defend jihad.”
In a letter written last week, the Oise prefecture announced the intention, noting that a 10-day period of information gathering was required before any action could be done.
The mosque’s imam was a recent convert, according to the Courrier Picard.
The imam was suspended from his duties following the prefecture’s letter, according to a lawyer for the mosque’s management organisation.
Darmanin announced earlier this year that France would increase checks on mosques and groups accused of disseminating radical Islamic propaganda.
The crackdown followed the death of teacher Samuel Paty in October 2020, who was targeted online for showing controversial caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed published by satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo during a civics class.
In recent months, 99 mosques and Muslim prayer rooms out of 2,623 in France have been probed for allegedly disseminating “separatist” rhetoric.
Six were being investigated for possible closure under French legislation against extremism and Islamist separatism.
The Simon Wiesenthal Centre’s head praised the government’s decision to close the mosque, saying it will influence the upcoming presidential election.
“Of the 2,600 mosques, prayer halls, and Islamic schools in France, 99 have been investigated so far,” Shimon Samuels stated.