French Minister of Interior Gerald Darmanin said in October that the country would investigate Islamic institutions.
Tangier – France’s Council of State rejected on Wednesday two requests, one to reopen the Great Mosque of Pantin and one to suspend the dissolution of Islamic NGO BarakaCity.
The summary judge said in the ruling published on Wednesday that the mosque had become a “gathering place of individuals belonging to the radical Islamic movement.”
The judge said the mosque’s official Facebook account published on October 9 a video containing “remarks provoking violence and hatred.” The video also mentioned the name of the French history teacher Samuel Paty, calling for his dismissal.
On October 16, a Chechen student attacked Paty after he showed his students some of Charlie Hebedo’s caricatures in a class on freedom of speech. The caricatures depict Prophet Muhammad, which Muslims consider an insult to their religion.
The publication of the images and the attack on Paty prompted renewed Islamophobia in the country and heightened tensions with the Muslim minority.
France’s Minister of the Interior Gerald Darmanin announced on October 19 he would work to dissolve Islamic NGOs and institutions. The minister said 51 institutions will receive weekly visits from state services and many of them will be dissolved.
The Prefect of Seine-Saint-Denis announced the six-month administrative closure of the Great Mosque of Pantin on October 19. Reopening the mosque depends “on measures likely to prevent the repetition of the observed dysfunctions,” said the judge.
In the BarakaCity case, the summary judge of the Council of State considers that the remarks its president, Idriss Sihamedi, circulates on social media, whether through his personal accounts or BarakaCity’s accounts, do represent the association. The judge said Sihamedi’s remarks constitute “speech inciting to discrimination, hatred or violence, which may justify dissolution.”
Sihamedi received notice from officials of France on October 20 that proceedings to dissolve the Islamic NGO were underway. On October 28, the ministry released a decree on the basis of Article 212-1 of the French Internal Security Code officially announcing its dissolution.
“Some of these messages [from Sihamedi], in particular those calling for ‘punishments’ on the victims of the attack on the Charlie Hebdo newspaper or exposing specific persons to public revenge constituted speech inciting discrimination, hatred or violence,” the judge affirmed.
In accordance with the instructions of French President Emanuel Macron, Darmanin announced last week the official dissolution of the Collective Against Islamophobia in France (CCIF), which he had termed an “enemy of the republic.”
The French minister of interior also recently vowed France will soon target Muslims who denounce the caricatures about Islam.