France expels five radical imams

By AFP
Published: April 3, 2012
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France last week banned four Muslim preachers from entering the country for a conference of the Union of Islamic Organisations.

France last week banned four Muslim preachers from entering the country for a conference of the Union of Islamic Organisations.

PARIS: France has expelled two Islamic radicals and plans to deport three more as part of its crackdown following last month’s attacks by an Islamist who shot dead seven people, officials said Monday.

An Algerian radical and a Malian imam were sent back to their home countries on Monday, the interior ministry said in a statement.

A Saudi imam would not be let back into the country, a Turkish imam and a Tunisian radical would also shortly be expelled, and others would follow, the statement added.

At an election rally in the eastern city of Nancy on Monday, President Nicolas Sarkozy said he was sending a very clear message.

“All those who make remarks contrary to the values of the Republic will be instantly put outside the territory of the French Republic, there will no exception, there will be no leniency,” he said.

French police arrested 19 people in a crackdown on suspected Islamist networks in dawn raids on Friday as Sarkozy made the battle against extremism a keynote of his re-election campaign.

Of those, 16 were still in custody on Monday, sources close to the investigation said.

Some of the arrests were made in the southwest city of Toulouse, where gunman Mohamed Merah was shot dead by police last month after a 32-hour siege at a flat there.

Of the two deported Monday, Algerian activist Ali Belhadad had served 18 months in France for his part in a 1994 attack on a Marrakesh hotel in which gunmen killed two people and wounded two others, said the ministry.

Belhadad, who had in recent weeks re-established links with the radical Islamist movement, had been deported to Algeria, the ministry said.

Also deported Monday was Malian imam Almany Baradji, who had been preaching anti-Semitism and advocating the wearing of the full-face veil, said the ministry. Wearing the full-face veil in public is illegal under French law.

The ministry said that Saudi imam Saad Nasser Alshatry, who had promoted the isolation of women, was currently out of France but would be refused entry should he try to return.

Moves were also underway to expel Tunisian Islamist activist Malek Drine and Turkish imam Yusuf Yuksel from the country, said the ministry.

France last week banned four Muslim preachers from entering the country for a conference of the Union of Islamic Organisations in France (UOIF), citing their “calls for hatred and violence”.

In Algeria meanwhile, one of the lawyers for Merad’s father said a 10-strong legal team would represent him in his lawsuit against France’s elite RAID police unit that killed his son.

“Seven Algerian lawyers and three French lawyers are going to represent the father of Mohamed Merad in France,” lawyer Zahia Mokhtari told AFP.

Mohamed Merah was shot dead by a police sniper on March 22 at the end of a 32-hour siege at his flat in Toulouse.

The 23-year-old had shot dead three soldiers, and three children and a teacher at a Jewish school, in three attacks last month.

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Reader Comments (11)

  • Harry Stone
    Apr 3, 2012 - 7:21AM

    A small beginning…….a very small beginning

    Recommend

  • Reddy
    Apr 3, 2012 - 7:21AM

    at least one guy has shown some backbone in fighting these extremists and shown the way to rest of the world how it would be done, no ifs,buts or mincing the words, you lay down the law and say welcome to the France.

    Recommend

  • xzy
    Apr 3, 2012 - 8:51AM

    Excommunication is the best way to deal with these scum.

    Recommend

  • Mirza
    Apr 3, 2012 - 9:21AM

    This is just the beginning of the end of extremism and terrorism from the civilized world. However, a lot more needs to be done in all the countries to control this hatred and terror. Recommend

  • whoever
    Apr 3, 2012 - 9:30AM

    This is called Governance…

    Recommend

  • Mumbai Dude
    Apr 3, 2012 - 10:14AM

    Awesome. I love to see French having a backbone.

    Recommend

  • sars
    Apr 3, 2012 - 10:19AM

    Please dont send any of these to pakistan we have enough of our own radicals

    Recommend

  • Arijit Sharma
    Apr 3, 2012 - 11:40AM

    @sars: ” … Please dont send any of these to pakistan we have enough of our own radicals … “

    Send them to Hassan Nissar. He will fix them real good.

    Recommend

  • peter
    Apr 3, 2012 - 11:58AM

    “All those who make remarks contrary to the values of the Republic will be instantly put outside the territory of the French Republic, there will no exception, there will be no leniency,” sounds like beginning of censorship to me.

    Recommend

  • Pollack
    Apr 3, 2012 - 9:16PM

    @peter: more like beginning of sense. Which sane society would allow people in who want to destroy that society?

    Recommend

  • Aftab Kenneth Wilson
    Apr 3, 2012 - 9:46PM

    Pack them back to their countries of origin not just from Europe but also from all those countries who gave them means to earn, live and eat quality food and health. There should be Zero Tolerance who spreads terror/hate on religion or certain beliefs.

    Recommend

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