France shuts down mosques

24th Dec 2015

Nadine Osman

The French Government has shut down three mosques and four informal Muslim prayer rooms who it accuses of being involved in radicalization on December 2.

Minister of the Interior, Bernard Cazeneuve, told the National Assembly that the action was necessary after the deadly terror attacks in and around Paris on November 13, which left 130 people dead.

“There will be complete firmness against those that preach hatred in France,” he said.

Two of the shuttered mosques are in the greater Paris region and one is in Lyon; four prayer rooms were closed in Nice. The closures are to last only as long as the national state of emergency does, Cazeneuve said.

Cazeneuve’s did not elaborate on the risk the three mosques posed. The French authorities have detained or expelled imams for alleged hate speech, but none connected with the closed mosques, an Interior Ministry official said.

However, when the police searched the homes of several people in leadership positions at one of the mosques, they reported finding a revolver, a hidden hard drive, documents about “jihad” and an undeclared Qur’an school.

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