The French government has ordered a mosque to close for six months for “inciting hatred” and “violence” against Christians, Jews and homosexuals, EuroNews reported.
France’s Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin announced on Dec. 14 that the government was in the process of closing the mosque in Beauvais due to its “unacceptable” sermons, “apology of jihad,” and incitement targeting “Christians, homosexuals and Jews.” Darmanin said the mosque also regularly hosted a speaker who “acts as a regular imam” and reportedly made remarks that “glorify jihad and the fighters, whom he describes as heroes.”
A lawyer for the NGO Espoir et Fraternité (“Hope and Fraternity”), which runs the mosque, told AFP that the organization will appeal the mosque’s closing in court. The lawyer also criticized authorities for focusing on “certain remarks made during preaching by one of the mosque’s imams – who has since been suspended – who was speaking on a voluntary basis.”
In late August, France adopted a controversial separatism law that the government said aims to fight Islamic radicalism.
There are reportedly 2,620 Muslim places of worship in France and Darmanin said that over the past six months, 99 mosques suspected of promoting a radical ideology have been controlled by authorities.
“Of these 99 [mosques], 21 have been closed, and six are currently in the process of being closed,” Darmanin said earlier in December, according to EuroNews.