France shuts 9 places of worship under campaign against Islamic extremism

France shuts 9 places of worship under campaign against Islamic extremism

France has closed 9 places of worship under nationwide campaign against Islamic extremism.

On Friday, country’s interior minister Gerald Darmanin tweeted, “In line with the orders of the President of the Republic and the Prime Minister we are taking decisive steps against the Islamist separatism. Out of 18 places of worship under special surveillance nine have been closed upon my request.”

“We are leading determined action against Islamist separatism.” added the minister.

9 mosques have been shut, out of which 8 were closed due to administrative reasons. From those 8 prayer rooms, 5 were closed for non-compliance with safety standards and the other 3 for various other reasons.

Figaro newspaper reported that three of the closed facilities were located in the department of Seine-Saint-Denis near Paris.

The minister included the mosque of Pantin in his recent count as it was closed in November for 6 months. This mosque in Panting relayed a video which had implicated Samuel Paty before his assassination.

Samuel Paty was a history teacher who showed cartoons of Prophet Mohammad to his students in school and was then beheaded on October 16, 2020 for doing so. After the murder of Samuel Paty in October, France intensified its campaign against Islamism. The 18 year old killer, Abdoullakh Anzorov, was shot by the police.

In mid-November, the French government launched a project to reform Islamic institutions to ensure an “Islam compatible with republican values”. Then in December, the minister announced “massive action” and controls “76 mosques”.

According to information from the Ministry of the Interior, in total 34 places of worship have been subject to  “controls ” by the authorities in the past weeks, including in Lunel (Hérault, south) and Marseille (southeast).

The bill “confirming respect for the principles of the Republic”, also called the law against separatism, will be submitted to deputies from Monday in a special committee at the National Assembly, before a debate in the hemicycle from the 1st February.


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