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France to expel anyone who threatens security in name of Islam: minister

Published Sep 27, 2012 09:44am

French Interior Minister Manuel Valls (L) and Jean-Paul Bonnetain, newly-appointed Marseille Government Prefect in charge of security. – Reuters

STRASBOURG: France will expel anyone who threatens security at home or abroad in the name of Islam or does not respect the country's secular traditions, Interior Minister Manuel Valls said Thursday.

France will be “intransigent... and I will not hesitate to expel those who claim to follow Islam and represent a serious threat to public order and as foreigners in our country do not respect our laws and values,” he said at a ceremony to inaugurate a grand mosque in the eastern city of Strasbourg.

“The preachers of hatred, those espousing obscurantism and fundamentalists ... do not have a place in France,” he said.

“Racism, fundamentalism is not part of Islam.”

"Those who are on our soil to defy our laws and want to attack the foundations of our society cannot remain here," he said.

The mosque, which can hold 1,500 worshippers, is the biggest in France, which with four million Muslims has the largest Islamic population in western Europe.