France Targets 76 Mosques Suspected of Having Radical Islamist Ties

Muslin men gather for midday prayers at the Grand Mosque de Pantin, in the northeastern suburbs of Paris on October 20, 2020. - French authorities said on October 20, 2020, they would close thew Grand Mosque de Pantin as part of a clampdown on radical Islam that has yielded over …

At least 76 mosques across France suspected of having radical Islamist ties are under investigation by Emmanuel Macron’s government, in the president’s latest crackdown on separatism and political Islam.

French interior minister Gérald Darmanin is heading the offensive against the 76 mosques, 16 of which are in the Paris region, according to a leaked report.

The document, dated November 27th, was published by French newspaper Le Figaro on Thursday. It states that 18 mosques will be subject to “immediate action” and may face possible closure.

Three of those 18 mosques are located on the notorious Paris no-go suburbs of Seine-Saint-Denis. One of the three was closed in 2019 but has continued to hold prayers despite the order.

Many of the 15 other mosques are listed as having a variety of issues including failure to close when ordered or otherwise operating clandestinely. Some have imams flagged on a radicalisation watchlist known as the Alert File for the Prevention of Terrorist Radicalisation (FSPRT).

The French state will target for action the remaining 58 mosques by the end of the year. Prefects across the country are also updating the list of potential targets, which could result in the scope of the government’s action widening beyond the initial 76.

“Until now, the state has been interested in radicalisation and terrorism,” Interior Minister Darmanin said, adding: “Now, we are also going to tackle the breeding ground of terrorism, where there are people who create an intellectual and cultural space to separate [from the Republic] and impose their values.”

The French government plans to monitor what imams say within the walls of their mosques as well as what they share on social media. Authorities will also follow any financial links imams or their mosques may have to Muslim or Middle Eastern countries.

The leaked document comes after President Macron declared he would fight against political Islam following the murder of teacher Samuel Paty in October.

A radical Chechen refugee beheaded Mr Paty in the street after the teacher showed cartoons of Mohammed, published by Charlie Hebdo, to his class during a lesson on free speech.

Since the murder and the subsequent church terror attack in Nice, the French government has dissolved Islamist-linked NGO Barakacity and set its sights on dismantling the “anti-Islamophobia” NGO, the Collective against Islamophobia in France (CCIF).

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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