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French authorities close down another two radical mosques

French authorities have closed down two mosques, one notorious for being a major meeting place for local Salafists.

Published: October 6, 2017, 9:46 am

    The prefecture of the Yvelines, where Sartrouville is located north-west of Paris, shut down the mosque, describing it as one of the pillars of the French radical Islam.

    Several of its frequent visitors have been arrested for preparing or participating in terrorism-related activities. It is noteworthy that France was one of the countries that also armed and funded the jihadists in Syria.

    Many of the mosque’s adherents had been to Syria and Iraq in 2013 to fight alongside terrorist groups fighting to unseat Syrian president Assad.

    “It is a serious threat to state security and public order “, according to the order, dated on Monday, published on the website of the prefecture of the Yvelines. It added that the preaching had showed “hostility to republican principles”.

    But Said Jalab, head of the cultural association of Sartrouvile Muslims, categorically denied claims of terrorist involvement. “We were shocked”, he told AFP. “It came from nowhere.”

    The place of worship had been the object of a search in December 2015, but “nothing was found “, according to him.

    According to the prefecture, the president of the association counts among his relations, one of the iconic figures of radical islam, including the terrorist islamist Djamel Beghal .

    In Fontenay-aux-Roses (Hauts-de-Seine), a commune located south-west of Paris, local authorities closed down a Mosque in the quarter of Paradis for the same reasons.

    On 29 September the prefecture issued a decree leading to the closure of the prayer room in the neighbourhood of Paradise because it presented an ”apology of terrorism “,

    On 8 and 15 September, the sermons contained statements which “constitute an incitement to hatred or violence”.

    When contacted, officials of the Association for Muslims of Fontenay-aux-Roses were unavailable for comment.

    The closures come in the wake of the new anti-terrorism law which was passed by the French Parliament on Tuesday.

    The state of emergency, imposed after the terror attacks on November 13, 2015, and which was extended six times so far, is supposed to end at the start of net month.

    In the framework of the state of emergency, 17 other places of worship, all muslim have been the subject of administrative closures, and nine remained closed at the end of September, according to the minister of the Interior, Gérard Collomb.

    In April, French authorities said in Torcy (Seine-et-Marne), the mosque “had become a place where radical ideology and incitement to jihad was advocated”.

    The former Minister of the Interior Matthias Fekl, said: “Some preaching, openly hostile to republican laws, incited hatred towards other religious communities.”

    The mosque, located in at 16, avenue de Lingenfeld in Torcy, was closed by the police, on the order of the prefect. The closure had been ordered “until the end of the state of emergency”.

    Suspected of promoting an extremist ideology, four mosques were closed in the Paris region in March already.

    The French authorities closed four mosques in the Ile-de-France region suspected of promoting a radical ideology. The measure was also taken as part of the state of emergency in force since November 2015, local media reported.

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