PARIS (AP) – France’s interior minister has ordered the closure of four mosques that allegedly espoused a ‘radical ideology,’ the latest such shutdowns among dozens since the Nov. 13 Paris attacks nearly a year ago.
A state of emergency in France allows for the closing of places of worship where the preaching risks provoking hate, violence or acts of terrorism.
Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve ordered the mosques in the Paris region closed on Wednesday. A ministry statement did not name the mosques, located east, west and north of the city.
“Under cover of religion, these places held meetings that in reality were aimed at promoting a radical ideology,” the statement said.
Dozens of mosques where radicalism allegedly thrived have been closed and non-citizens, including imams, expelled since the attacks that killed 130 people.
Excerpted From RT: French authorities have closed four mosques in the Paris region for promoting the ideology of radical Islam under the state of emergency as France continues to tackle the issue of home-grown radicalism following a number of high-profile terrorist attacks.
French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve has issued an order authorizing the administrative closure of four Muslim preaching schools in the Paris suburbs of Yvelines, Seine-Saint-Denis and Val-de-Marne, a statement by the French Interior Ministry says.
The mosques were closed under the state of emergency for the spread of “hatred and violence,” the statement says, adding that “under the guise of ritual ceremonies, these places [harbored] meetings aimed at promoting radical ideology, [which is] contrary to the values of the [French] Republic and may constitute a serious risk to security and public order.”
In the statement, Cazeneuve also reaffirmed his commitment to “allow the peaceful coexistence of all [places of] worship in compliance with the laws of the Republic” as well as his “determination” to protect French citizens and “fight terrorism by all legal means.”
In Val-de-Marne, a clandestine Islamic school was found in late August in a mosque that was closed on Wednesday. Twelve people who attended this school were convicted in April for having links to jihadist groups in Syria.
The mosque in Yvelines had links “to an influential Salafist movement that advocated rigorous Islam and called for discrimination, hatred and violence,” a decree issued by the regional prefect said, as cited by Le Parisien.
Many people who previously attended one of the two mosques that were closed in Seine-Saint-Denis then joined jihadist movements, French media report, adding that some of them are suspected of “being behind attempted terrorist attacks in France.”
n August, Cazeneuve said that French authorities had closed about 20 mosques and prayer halls considered to be preaching radical Islam since December 2015. “There is no place… in France for those who call for and incite hatred in prayer halls or in mosques,” he said at that time, adding that the closures would continue. Keep reading