Cannes:A French mosque has been shut down for supporting Islamist groups and anti-Semitism, France’s interior minister confirmed.
Gerald Darmanin said on Wednesday that he had ordered the closure of the mosque in the seaside city of Cannes on the French Riviera because of anti-Semitic remarks made there.
Darmanin, 39, added that the mosque was also guilty of supporting CCIF and BarakaCity – two groups that the government dissolved at the end of last year for spreading ‘Islamist’ propaganda.
The politician told broadcaster CNews that he had consulted with mayor of Cannes David Lisnard before shutting down the mosque.
It comes just two weeks after regional authorities closed a mosque in northern France because of the radical nature of its imam’s preaching.
The mosque in Beauvais, a town of 50,000 people some 62 miles north of Paris, will remain shut for six months, the prefecture of the Oise region said last month.
Regional authorities said the sermons there had incited hatred, violence and ‘defend jihad’.
Darmanin said he had triggered the procedure to close the Beauvais site because the imam was ‘targeting Christians, homosexuals and Jews’ in his sermons.
Last October, a mosque in Allonnes, 200 kilometres west of Paris, was closed for six months for sermons defending armed jihad and ‘terrorism’, according to regional authorities.
The French government announced earlier this 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.