French President Emmanuel Macron Photograph:( Reuters )
Darmanin said in a statement on Twitter that if any prayer hall was found to promote extremism it would be closed down
The French government will launch a "massive and unprecedented" wave of measures to combat religious extremism, Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said on Wednesday, adding that one step would be to inspect 76 mosques.
76 mosquées sont aujourd’hui soupçonnées de séparatisme.— Gérald DARMANIN (@GDarmanin) December 3, 2020
Dans les prochains jours, des contrôles vont être menés sur ces lieux de culte.
Si jamais ces doutes sont confirmés, je demanderai leur fermeture. pic.twitter.com/Mq8DGnB2Pr
Darmanin said in a statement on Twitter that if any prayer hall was found to promote extremism it would be closed down.
Sur les 231 étrangers en situation irrégulière fichés pour radicalisation :— Gérald DARMANIN (@GDarmanin) December 3, 2020
- 66 ont été expulsés
- 46 sont en centre de rétention administrative
- 30 sont assignés à résidence
- 5 sont incarcérés pic.twitter.com/AMTwEgm8RU
The inspections to be carried out on Thursday afternoon are part of a response to two gruesome attacks that particularly shocked France, the beheading of a teacher who showed his pupils cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed and the stabbing to death of three people in a church in Nice.
Darmanin said the fact that only a fraction of the around 2,600 Muslim places of worship in France were suspected of peddling radical theories showed "we are far from a situation of widespread radicalisation".
"Nearly all Muslims in France respect the laws of the Republic and are hurt by that (radicalisation)," he said.
President Emmanuel Macron's government has responded to several deadly Islamist attacks in recent weeks with a promise to crack down on what some public officials have called "the enemy within."
The killing of teacher Samuel Paty, who had shown his pupils cartoons of Mohammed in a class on free speech, sent shockwaves through France, where it was seen as an attack on the republic itself.
In the aftermath of his murder, the authorities raided dozens of Islamic sports groups, charities, and associations suspected of promoting extremism.
They also ordered the temporary closure of a mosque near Paris that shared a vitriolic video inciting hatred of Paty.
The latest inspections come as Darmanin attempts to fend off fierce criticism over cases of police brutality caught on camera that have forced the ruling party to revise a controversial bill restricting filming of the police.