French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin confirmed on Tuesday that the state would be temporarily closing a mosque in Beauvais following reports that its imam had made hate comments, specifically inciting hatred against Christians, Jews, and gay people.
Interior Minister Darmanin confirm on Tuesday that the prefecture of Oise, just north of Paris, had been notified that the Bilal Mosque in Beauvais would be closed for six months.
“Today, we have initiated the closure of the Beauvais mosque, which attacks in an unacceptable manner Christians, homosexuals, and Jews,” Mr Darmanin told CNews, according to the newspaper, Le Figaro.
The mosque, which was built in 2014 with the support of the local town hall, has allegedly seen multiple cases of hate preaching, with security services stating there had been “several sermons that incite hatred, violence and glorify jihad”.
The imam’s inflammatory speeches were published on YouTube, posts which formed the basis for the investigation into the mosque.
Samim Bolaky, the imam’s lawyer, claimed that the remarks were taken out of context and were in reference to two major wars in Islamic history. “He probably did not have the delicacy to speak to the past,” Bolaky said.
France Disbanding Six More Radical Islamist Mosques https://t.co/vubR4Xi3AG
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) October 1, 2021
The lawyer also remarked on the statements about homosexuality, saying: “The imam is only giving the point of view of religion to a question that was put to him. This question was: is homosexuality allowed in religion?”
The Bilal Mosque is just the latest to be closed by the government of French President Emmanuel Macron in recent months.
In October, the prefecture of Sarthe closed the mosque of Allonnes, after it was found that the local preachers were advocating for armed jihad.
“According to the evidence gathered, sermons and the activity of this place of worship, frequented by individuals belonging to or close to the radical Islamist movement, legitimise the use of armed jihad, death as a martyr, the commission of acts of terrorism, and the use of violence, hatred, and discrimination as well as the establishment of Sharia law,” the prefecture had said in a statement.
Interior Minister Darmanin announced in late September that six mosques had been closed after investigations into their activities and that around a third of the 89 mosques suspected to have ties to radicalism had been examined.
The French prefecture of Sarthe has closed the mosque of Allonnes after evidence revealed that sermons advocated for armed jihad. https://t.co/AetCi1Bcqf
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) October 15, 2021