French Govt Calls Out Leftists for Defending Radical Imam Set for Deportation

France's Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin issues a statement to media during a visit

French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin slammed members of the far-left party France Insoumise, who he accused of defending a radical Islamist imam set for deportation from France.

Minister Darmanin, who announced the deportation of radical Moroccan imam Hassan Iquioussen last week, slammed members of France Insoumise (LFI), who he accused of defending the imam and trying to halt his deportation.

“This gentleman has nothing to do on national soil and that they can defend him in the sense of the term freedom of expression, tells me the state of intellectual decomposition that the far-left LFI has on this point,” Darmanin told broadcaster CNews on Thursday.

Since announcing the deportation of the radical imam, members of the LFI in the French parliament have criticised Darmanin, including MP David Guiraud who stated: “These dubious procedures must challenge all democrats concerned with preserving our rule of law.”

Another LFI MP, Manuel Bompard, argued that while the imam has reportedly given antisemitic and homophobic speeches, he should be tried by a French court: “it cannot be up to the arbitrariness of the Minister of the Interior to decide which words are acceptable or not.”

Darmanin hit back at the criticism from such MPs, stating that of the 2,600 mosques across France, only around 20 support Imam Iquioussen. He called don the LFI to kick out David Guiraud, arguing his statements reflected on the rest of the party.

Since becoming Interior Minister in 2020, Darmanin has talked tough on combatting the spread of radical Islam, and has been involved in the closure of several radical mosques, particuarly following the beheading of teacher Samuel Paty by a radical Chechen refugee in October of 2020.

More recently, Darmanin has turned his attention to the deportation of foreign criminals, and last month argued for a reform of deportation laws to allow the French authorities to deport more foreign-born criminals who commit serious crimes.

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



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