The French prefecture of Sarthe has closed the mosque of Allonnes after evidence revealed that sermons advocated for armed jihad.
The prefecture announced in a statement issued this week that it would close the mosque, which lies just outside of Le Mans and sees around 300 Muslims attend.
“According to the evidence gathered, sermons and the activity of this place of worship, frequented by individuals belonging to or close to the radical Islamist movement, legitimise the use of armed jihad, death as a martyr, the commission of acts of terrorism, and the use of violence, hatred, and discrimination as well as the establishment of Sharia law,” the prefecture said, Le Parisien reports.
The prefecture also stated that children at a Quranic school housed by the mosque had also been exposed to sermons discussing armed jihad.
“In view of these elements, at the request of the Minister of the Interior, the Prefect of Sarthe has initiated a procedure to close this place of worship,” the prefecture said.
France Disbanding Six More Radical Islamist Mosques https://t.co/vubR4Xi3AG
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French government spokesman Gabriel Attal also commented on the closure of the radical mosque, saying: “We are inflexible in the face of Islamism. We are uncompromising in the face of hatred and radicalisation.”
“When they attack the Republic, it must respond, it must respond strongly and so we have initiated a procedure to request the closure of this mosque,” he said and added that it was closed under the recently passed Internal Security and Counter-Terrorism Law.
Christelle Morançais, the president of the Pays de la Loire Region, also welcomed the closure of the mosque, saying: “The state has made the right decision, but closing a place is not everything, far from it: hate preachers must be identified, convicted and, if necessary, expelled. No weakness, no naivety in the face of the enemies of the Republic.”
The radical mosque is just the latest to be shut down by the French government in recent years, a trend that increased after the murder of teacher Samuel Paty last year by a radical Islamist Chechen refugee.
French Interior Minister Gérard Darmanin announced the closure of six mosques along with other associations several weeks ago and noted that so far, a third of the 89 places of religious worship suspected of radicalism have been investigated.
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— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) October 20, 2020