Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

TALKING EUROPE

Catalonia independence vote: Tensions rise between Barcelona and Madrid

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

Catalonia’s regional foreign affairs chief: ‘This referendum is not illegal’

Read more

ENCORE!

Music show: Lucy Rose live, Ibeyi and Miley Cyrus

Read more

FOCUS

Judicial reforms: Polish government on collision course with EU

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Euro, stocks slide on Merkel's lacklustre election win

Read more

#THE 51%

Hola 'Ellas Hoy' - The 51 Percent welcomes its sister show on FRANCE 24 Spanish

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Donald Trump Vs NFL: America's divider in chief or America's saviour?

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

National security or personal freedom? French MPs discuss anti-terrorism bill

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Dotard: An educational insult

Read more

France

France set to deport hard-line imams

© Photo: AFP

Text by Joseph BAMAT

Latest update : 2013-01-30

French Interior Minister Manuel Valls has said that a handful of radical imams will be expelled from the country in the coming days as part of ongoing efforts to deport foreign-born preachers who "refer to the need to fight against France".

Several hard-line Muslim preachers will be forced to leave France in the coming days, Interior Minister Manuel Valls said on Tuesday. Speaking from Brussels, where he was attending an international conference on extremist movements, Valls said the move was part of an effort to check “global jihad”.

“Many radical foreign-born preachers will be deported in the coming days,” Valls told reporters, adding that it was important to draw a clear distinction between mainstream Muslims and extremists.

“I am not mistaking this radical Islam for French Islam, but a certain religious environment exists, there are groups that identify themselves as Salafists,” the interior minister said.

“They are attempting to co-opt organisations, school practices, basically, to brainwash a certain number of families,” he added.

Valls warned: “We will expel all these imams, all these foreign-born preachers who target women, make remarks contrary to our values and refer to the need to fight against France.”

Heightened threat level

It was not the first time that the interior minister put hard-line imams on alert. In a speech given at the inauguration of the Grand Mosque of Strasbourg, in northeastern France,  Valls said he would not hesitate to deport “those who speak in the name of Islam and represent a threat to public order.”

Unnamed Interior Ministry sources told the AFP news agency that the upcoming deportations involved three people, including an imam from Seine-Saint-Denis, a suburb of the French capital with a large immigrant population.

The cleric in question is said to regularly make homophobic remarks, the source said.

Valls’ comments came amid heightened concerns over potential terrorist attacks. On January 12 Paris raised its terrorist threat level, known as the Vigipirate system, a day after the French military launched an offensive to rout Islamist rebels from northern Mali.

"We must be extremely vigilant,” Valls said on Tuesday, “and I will be.”

More than 100 deportations in 10 years

While Valls stepped up his rhetoric, the interior minister was continuing a years-old government effort to expel religious extremists from the territory.

Since 2002, at least 125 deportation orders have been filed against radical Islamists, according to a government source cited by AFP.

Under French law, foreigners can be deported if they are believed to pose a serious threat to public order.

Mohammed Hammami, a Tunisian, was the last imam to be expelled from France, in October 2012. A preacher at the Omar Mosque in Paris, Hammami was deported for allegedly defending “violent jihad”, violence against women and anti-Semitism.

Date created : 2013-01-30

  • FRANCE-ROMA

    Roma children refused access to Lyon schools

    Read more

  • France

    Marseille, Europe’s new cultural capital, seeks to shed its shady image

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    Amiens riots thrust 'left-wing Sarkozy' into spotlight

    Read more

COMMENT(S)