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France shut around 20 mosques since December

Published Aug 01, 2016 07:32pm

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-AFP/File
-AFP/File

PARIS: French authorities have shut down around 20 mosques and prayer halls considered to be preaching radical Islam since December, Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said on Monday.

“There is no place in France for those who call for and incite hatred in prayer halls or in mosques, and who don't respect certain republican principles, notably equality between men and women,” the minister said.

“That is why I took the decision a few months ago to close mosques through the state of emergency, legal measures or administrative measures. About 20 mosques have been closed, and there will be others.”

Cazeneuve was speaking after a meeting with leaders of the French Council of the Muslim Religion.

There are some 2,500 mosques and prayer halls in France, about 120 of which are considered to be preaching radical Salafism, a strict Sunni interpretation of Islam.

He said that since 2012, 80 people had been expelled from France, and dozens more expulsions were under way, without giving further details.

The meeting comes as France struggles with an unprecedented jihadist threat that has seen a raft of terror attacks, most recently a truck massacre in Nice which killed 84, and the murder of a Catholic priest in the Normandy village of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray.

The repeat attacks have raised tough questions about security failures, but also about the foreign funding of many mosques.

Prime Minister Manuel Valls said last week that he would consider a temporary ban on foreign financing of mosques, urging a “new model” for relations with Islam.

Cazeneuve confirmed that authorities were working on a French foundation for Islam which would guarantee total transparency in financing of mosques “with rigorous respect for secular principles. “

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Comments (15) Closed



Tariq Laeeq Aug 01, 2016 07:44pm

A belated step in the right direction.

SB Aug 01, 2016 07:51pm

Right decesion.

Harmony-1© Aug 01, 2016 07:54pm

Preachers in any religious place should be thoroughly screened out before they are allowed to preach.

Inder Singh Aug 01, 2016 08:13pm

Very true,

Bharat Aug 01, 2016 08:19pm

Good first step.

Rk singh Aug 01, 2016 08:25pm

Too little, too late.

Syed Ali Aug 01, 2016 09:09pm

It is the responsibility of the Muslims who pray at these mosques to take the ownership of the behavior of misguided Imams and their followers to steer them in the right direction, that is fostering tolerance and focussing mainly on five basic tenets of Islam. Authorities must be informed of people's with terroristic mind set.

lafanga Aug 01, 2016 10:36pm

What will shutting down the mosques going to do? Almost all of the recent ISIS attackers in France since Charlie Hebdo attack are identified as someone with previous brushes with the law, already under surveillance and in all circumstance not practicing Muslims. Some also with prior mental health problems.

SAEED MASOOD Aug 01, 2016 10:46pm

The Mosques should not be shut down..the government should ask the Muslims to change the Imam and management of the mosques.

Justwasif Aug 02, 2016 12:51am

Belated but right decision...

Mukul Aug 02, 2016 12:56am

@lafanga

people get radicalized at different places this is an excellent preventive step When you are welcomed in a foreign country you have to be loyal to that country
preaching hate should be stopped anyway

Futurewizard Aug 02, 2016 03:01am

This is conspiracy against innocent Muslims. French are committing atrocities against Muslims. Pakistan should protest.

Jawad Aug 02, 2016 03:20am

@lafanga so true. Mostly those who committed mass killing were loosers, twisted minds, low esteem people, and might be bipolar. Shutting mosques is not a good option, rather prosecute Imam if he spread hate, violence, and excite people for murder.

PEACEFUL Aug 02, 2016 03:56am

In their country they are free to do what they want to practice. We should be free to practice whatever we want in ours. Yet everyone has a say in what is good for us. From what we teach at school to who should be the next PM. If a Muslim country was to close Churces or Mandirs it would be against freedom of religion. The solution is to stop or arrest wrongdoers. Shutting the mosques, unfairly deprives Muslims from a place of worship. If the Imam is an issue deal with him. If someone else is causing problems arrest them. Islam is peace and forbids hate. Live and let live. Don't tie up actions or a few criminals to Islam.

Naasamajh Aug 02, 2016 05:32am

@SAEED MASOOD You are right. The state does not have authority to choose or reject a certain type of religion. The freedom of religion should be respected.