• France's news in English
 
app_header_v3
State of Emergency
France forces closure of three 'radical mosques'
Photo: AFP

France forces closure of three 'radical mosques'

The Local · 2 Dec 2015, 16:25

Published: 02 Dec 2015 15:53 GMT+01:00
Updated: 02 Dec 2015 16:25 GMT+01:00

France's interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve announced on Wednesday that three mosques in France have been closed under emergency measures implemented in the days following the Paris terror attacks.

On Wednesday French police raided a mosque in the Paris suburb of Lagny-sur-Marne, the third Islamic place of worship to be raided and closed since November 13th.

Cazeneuve added that "three pseudo-cultural associations" linked to the mosque at Lagny-sur-Marne were also being dissolved.

The mosque in Lagny was formerly led by the imam Mohamed Hammoumi, known for his radical sermons and who is accused of recruiting volunteers for jihad in Syria, according to Le Parisien newspaper. 

Hammoumi and a number of his followers reportedly fled to Egypt in December 2014.  

Cazeuneuve said police found evidence of an unregistered Koranic school and various documents about jihad in the mosque.

"Such measures to close mosques because of radicalization have never before been taken by any government, including during the last state of emergency in 2005" after rioting broke out across France's troubled suburbs, Cazeneuve said.

The other two mosques where the doors have been closed were in the suburb of Gennevilliers, to the north west of Paris, and one in the city of Lyon. 

Following Wednesday's raid nine people were placed under house arrest, and 22 are now forbidden from leaving country. 

One individual is being held by police for possession of a 9mm handgun.

"These operations are targeting preachers of hate along with cult associations that incite people to hate," Cazeuneuve said on Wednesday.

Since the Paris attacks the French government has been under pressure to take a hard line against radical preachers.

Authorities are making use of special powers as part of an official state of emergency in place since the November 13th attacks. 

Cazeuneuve said that since the night of the attacks police had carried out 2,235 raids searches and seized 334 arms, including 34 of a military grade. 

More than 200 individuals are being held by police and another 300 are under house arrest.

The government has however been criticized for sacrificing civil liberties in its battle against terrorism, that has led to increasing concern among rights groups.

But Cazeneuve insisted the only threat to freedom comes from the likes of those who attacked Paris.

Story continues below…

"Terrorism is what's threatening our freedoms today, not the state of emergency," Cazeuneuve said.   

Since the attacks many Muslim leaders in France have firmly denounced the jihadists, saying they have nothing to do with the values of Islam.

SEE ALSO: Liberté losing out in France's 'war' on terror

 

 

Today's headlines
Aussie TV show accused of staging French burkini row
Photo: Channel 7 screengrab

Was an Australian TV report about France's burkini ban a set up to portray the French as "anti-Muslim"?

Five ways Paris is better than it was 15 years ago
All photos: AFP

Here's how one man says Paris has changed for the better over his last 15 years in the city.

Man in 60s wounds two in France supermarket shooting
Photo: AFP

A police SWAT team has surrounded gunman's apartment.

Paris makes 'history' by banning cars on river bank

The French capital is going green with a vengeance.

France's hospital doctors stage strike to highlight crisis
Photo: AFP

Unions have called for a "massive" walk-out among hospital doctors.

France's last 'real Camembert' cheese fights for survival
All photos: Charly Triballeau/AFP

It's a cheese maker's take on David and Goliath.

PSG's Serge Aurier sentenced to jail for attack on policeman
Photo: AFP

PSG player had attacked a police officer outside a night club on the Champs Elysées.

Paris city chiefs ready to let nudists hang out in park
Photo: AFP

A nudist park in Paris? "We're going to do it," says City Hall.

Hollande calls on UK to help solve Calais migrant crisis
Photo: AFP

The French president knows that immigration is a key issue of the presidential election battle.

Air France plane dumps fuel 'over Fontainebleau forest'
Photo: AFP

The mayor of the famous town near Paris is furious.

Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Features
Room for improvement: Paris's matchbox apartments
'Stop telling immigrants to be French and help it happen'
Society
Take the test: How far have you assimilated into French culture?
Lifestyle
Eleven things you should know before moving to Paris
National
France's Marion Cotillard rebuffs rumours of fling with Brad Pitt
National
Eight arrested over links to Nice truck attacker
Features
Why everyone should party in a French chateau at least once
Travel
The Frenchman who hated 'Nazi-Zealand' after four-day hitch-hike fail
Culture
What's on: Ten exciting events across France in September
The 45-million year old underground shells that flavour Champagne
Features
French job speak: All the terms you need to know
'Resilient' Paris now a more appealing city than New York
National
France says it's OK to warn drivers about speed cameras
Meet Honorine, 113, the oldest person in France
Education
Grenoble named France's best city to be a student
Society
New Metro map reveals cheapest pints of beer in Paris
Business & Money
How reliant is the French economy on Paris?
Society
Here's why Parisians want to move to Bordeaux
And the 'best place to spend a weekend in Europe' is… Lyon
Analysis & Opinion
'Muslims in France must be considered ordinary citizens'
Armed guards to ride French trains from October
National
France among Europe's priciest for train travel
National
Paris set to make river bank car-free for six-month trial
2,725
jobs available