Threatened with expulsion, an imam from Gard defends himself against any attack against the French flag

Threatened with expulsion, an imam from Gard defends himself against any attack against the French flag

Simple “slip of the tongue” Or “calls to hatred” very real and repeated? It is through the media that the Tunisian imam of the Bagnols-sur-Cèze mosque and the prefect of Gard are now putting forward their arguments. This Tuesday, February 20 on France Info, the prefect Jérôme Bonet denounced the problematic nature of certain recent sermons by Mahjoub Mahjoubi, with “calls to hatred” and “content that fundamentally challenges our values”.

“I made a slip of the tongue in my speech, I am not Voltaire or Victor Hugo”, for his part pleaded the imam on France Bleu Gard Lozère. “At no time did he attack the values ​​of the Republic,” adds Me Samir Hamroun, the lawyer of this Tunisian national in the crosshairs of the Ministry of the Interior who wants the withdrawal of his residence permit.

“No call to hatred will go unanswered”, Gérald Darmanin said on Sunday, on the social network X (formerly Twitter). The minister then specified that he had asked the prefect to report “the words of the imam to the public prosecutor”.

In a video relayed on social networks, Mahjoub Mahjoubi describes in particular the ” tricolour flag “ of “satanic flag” which does not have “no value with Allah”. In a longer version, it evokes the arrival of“Al Mahdi” which will unite all Muslims. “He will proclaimed himself and then all the governors in all governances will fall. We will no longer have all these tricolor flags which plague us, which give us headaches, which have no value with Allah, the only value they have is a satanic value.he said. “See all these flags we have at the games. (…) These are satanic flags that are worthless.” he adds.

A “satanic flag”

On France Bleu Gard Lozère, Mahjoub Mahjoubi assured that he was not speaking “in no case of the French flag”but that he denounced the rivalries between supporters of Maghreb countries during the recent African Cup of Nations (CAN): “I’m talking about stadiums and all these flags that we raise in stadiums and which divide Muslims. » A version undermined by the prefect of Gard. “There are several dozen minutes of sermons which were analyzed by the specialized services and which contain many things other than this pseudo-lapse”indicated Jérôme Bonet, referring to “remarks which do not only concern the question of the flag, which also concern the place of women, of the Jewish people whom he designates as an enemy”.

It now remains to be seen under what conditions the expulsion of the imam could take place. “He arrived legally in France in 1986 and obtained a residence permit in 1989. He was first married to a French woman. After divorcing, he is now married to a Tunisian woman. He is the father of five children, all born in France », Indicates Me Hamroun. “For expulsion, it will be necessary to demonstrate that the presence of Mr. Mahjoubi in France constitutes a disturbance of public order. Which we strongly contest. »

Following the prefect’s report, the Nîmes public prosecutor’s office opened a preliminary investigation into advocating terrorism. This offense is punishable by seven years in prison and a fine of €100,000 when the acts were committed via the Internet. “I am certain that this investigation will end with no further action being taken. But, in the meantime, the word “terrorism” amounts to putting an infamous label on my client’s back.” believes Me Hamroun.

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