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ISLAM

Veiled woman ‘incited riot’ after ID check

A French Muslim woman has been charged with assault and inciting a riot after she refused a police ID check becausevshe was wearing a banned full-face veil, a police source said Tuesday.

The 18-year-old is to appear in court in the northern city of Lille on October 30 charged with assault, insulting police and inciting a riot after police tried to take her to a station for refusing to provide identification.

A French law passed in 2011, the first of its kind to be enforced in Europe, banned the wearing of the full-face-covering Islamic veil.

The law came into effect at an already fraught moment in relations between the state and France's Muslim minority – the largest in Europe – with then
president Nicolas Sarkozy accused of stigmatising Islam to win back votes from a resurgent far right in this year's election.

Supporters of the law have defended it as a measure aimed at supporting women's rights although the text makes it clear that a woman cannot choose
herself to cover her face in public.

The woman, arrested on Saturday, was stopped by officers in Roubaix, outside northern France's largest city of Lille.

She allegedly said she did not have time and did not want to show her ID card and covered herself up with another veil as she walked away, the police
source said, asking not to be named.

When police tried to take her to the station, she allegedly grabbed hold of a vehicle and started kicking, punching and screaming, the source added.

She allegedly tried to bite police and scratched one of them before being taken into custody. None of the officers were hurt.

In a similar incident on July 24, three officers in the southern city of Marseille sustained minor injuries after they stopped a fully veiled woman by
a mosque. The woman, two men and a minor are due in court over the alleged assault.

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POLITICS

French minster orders closure of Cannes mosque over anti-Semitic remarks

France's interior minister said on Wednesday he had ordered the closure of a mosque on the French Riviera because of anti-Semitic remarks made there.

The French riviera town of Cannes
The French riviera town of Cannes. Photo: Joel Saget/AFP

Gerald Darmanin said the mosque in the seaside city of Cannes was also guilty of supporting CCIF and BarakaCity, two associations that the government dissolved at the end of last year for spreading “Islamist” propaganda.

Darmanin told broadcaster CNews that he had consulted with the mayor of Cannes, David Lisnard, before shutting down the mosque.

The move comes two weeks after authorities closed a mosque in the north of the country because of what they said was the radical nature of its imam’s preaching.

The mosque in Beauvais, a town of 50,000 people some 100 kilometres north of Paris, was shut for six months because the sermons there incited hatred and violence and “defend jihad”, authorities said.

Last October, a mosque in Allonnes, 200 kilometres west of Paris, was closed also for six months for sermons defending armed jihad and “terrorism”, according to regional authorities.

The French government announced last year that it would step up checks of places of worship and associations suspected of spreading radical Islamic propaganda.

The crackdown came after the October 2020 murder of teacher Samuel Paty, who was targeted following an online campaign against him for having shown controversial cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed published by the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo during a civics class.

In the interview on Wednesday, the interior minister said that 70 mosques in France were considered to be “radicalised”.

According to the ministry, there are a total of 2,623 mosques and Muslim prayer halls in the country.

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