Accused of hate speech, imam Mahjoub Mahjoubi was deported to Tunisia

Accused of hate speech, imam Mahjoub Mahjoubi was deported to Tunisia

Accused of having uttered calls for hatred in sermons targeting women, Jews or a French society “rotten”the Tunisian imam of the Bagnols-sur-Cèze (Gard) mosque Mahjoub Mahjoubi was arrested Thursday February 23 at his home and deported to Tunisia a few hours later.

In a message posted on X (formerly Twitter), Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin announced his effective expulsion “less than 12 hours after his arrest”. “It is the demonstration that the immigration law, without which such a rapid expulsion would not have been possible, makes France stronger”he added, “We won’t let anything go”.

Living in France since the mid-1980s, father of four children, Mahjoub Mahjoubi has “is the subject of a home visit and an arrest”, had clarified earlier during the day on X Gérald Darmanin, who had demanded on Sunday the withdrawal of his residence permit. The minister again castigated Thursday a “radical imam with unacceptable remarks”.

Arrested on the basis of a ministerial expulsion order, in the presence of his children and his wife according to his lawyer Samir Hamroun, he was transferred to an administrative detention center (CRA) in the Paris region.

Mahjoub Mahjoubi became known a few days ago for a video circulating on social networks in which he described the ” tricolour flag “ – without specifying whether it was the French flag – “satanic flag” who would not have “no value with Allah”. He defended himself on Monday by mentioning a “slip of the tongue”explaining that he was in reality denouncing the rivalries between supporters of Maghreb countries during the recent African Football Cup of Nations.

The sermons analyzed “contain many things other than this pseudo-lapse”, the prefect of Gard Jérôme Bonet replied on Tuesday on franceinfo. If we are to believe the expulsion order, the remarks made against the Tunisian imam cover a much broader field than the debate around the flag.

“Retrograde and violent conception”

In sermons on February 2, 9 and 16 “concerning the warning signs of the End Times”Mahjoub Mahjoubi “conveyed a literal, retrograde, intolerant and violent conception of Islam, likely to encourage behavior contrary to the values ​​of the Republic, discrimination against women, withdrawal into identity, tensions with the Jewish community and jihadist radicalization »notes the decree.

The French authorities also accuse the imam of “hateful and discriminatory remarks against non-Muslims and French society” which he would have described as “belligerent and rotten”.

Still according to the ministerial decree, the imam designated in front of his faithful “the Jewish people as an enemy”. He called “to the destruction of Western society deemed decadent” and did “the praise of sharia, the only legitimate and just law in his eyes”, according to the same source. On February 2, he deplored that “mosques no longer produce fighters as in the time of the prophet”.

In addition to initiating the expulsion procedure, Gérald Darmanin had asked the prefect to report these comments to the courts. Nîmes prosecutor Cécile Gensac announced on Monday that she had opened a preliminary investigation into “apology of terrorism”.

Mahjoub Mahjoubi’s lawyer, Samir Hamroun, said on Thursday that he would contest his expulsion: “for the request for interim relief, it is the judge of freedoms and detention of the Meaux court who has jurisdiction”. “As for the merits – He said this, he didn’t say that… – it will be before the Paris administrative court”added the lawyer, according to whom his client is “stunned” And “upset”.

Before his arrest, the imam of Bagnols-sur-Cèze had claimed to support the values ​​of the Republic and secularism. “Of course, I defended Samuel Paty (the professor murdered in 2020 by a young jihadist). I was in the march for Charlie Hebdo »he said.

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