France to close mosques and disband associations suspected of radicalism
France has taken steps to close six mosques and disband a number of associations suspected of promoting radical Islamist propaganda.
Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin told Le Figaro newspaper that a third of the 89 places of worship “suspected of being radical” had been investigated since November 2020.
The six to be shut down are spread over five departments across France.
Darmanin stressed that French security services had bolstered their surveillance in recent years as part of the country’s fight against Islamic “separatism”.
Authorities are also looking at disbanding Islamist publishers Nawa as well as the Black African Defence League (LDNA), which organised a demonstration against police violence in June last year outside the US Embassy in Paris.
Darmanin accused Nawa, based in the southern French town of Ariege, of “inciting the extermination of Jews and legitimising the stoning of homosexuals”.
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Meanwhile he said the LDNA “advocated hatred and discrimination” – adding that in the coming year, a further 10 associations would be dissolved.
In September, France’s Council of State approved the government’s decision to disband the Anti-Islamophobia Rally in France and Baraka City associations.
The government had moved for them to be closed in late 2020, following the murder of teacher Samuel Paty, who was beheaded by an Islamist.