France targets mosque for closure after ‘unacceptable’ preaching

From the French edition of The Local Photograph from France Bleu

France’s interior minister said on Tuesday he had launched a procedure to close a mosque for up to six months because of the radical nature of its imam’s preaching.

Gerald Darmanin told the Cnews TV channel he had “triggered” the process of shutting the mosque in Beauvais, a town of 50,000 some 100 kilometres (62 miles) north of Paris, because of “unacceptable” preaching. He said the mosque’s imam “is targeting Christians, homosexuals and Jews” in his sermons.

Authorities in the Oise region, where Beauvais is located, had already announced that they were considering closing down the mosque because of sermons they said incited hatred, violence and “defend jihad”. An official at the Oise prefecture told AFP that a letter had been sent last week announcing the plan, adding that a 10-day period of information-gathering was legally required before any action could be taken.

Local daily Courrier Picard reported that the mosque’s imam was a recent convert to Islam.