who were the last foreign imams forced to leave France?

who were the last foreign imams forced to leave France?

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 22 at his home and deported to Tunisia a few hours later. Several foreign imams have been expelled from French territory for comments described as“incitement to hatred” these last years.

► Hassan Iquioussen, in January 2023

In July 2022, the Minister of the Interior signed an expulsion order against Hassan Iquioussen, a 58-year-old Moroccan imam in Denain (North), for “a proselytizing speech peppered with remarks inciting hatred and discrimination and carrying a vision of Islam contrary to the values ​​of the Republic”. The authorities accuse him of“incite hatred” particularly towards Jews, in a speech in 2004 and then in 2014. His YouTube channel is then followed by 178,000 subscribers.

Defending himself against the accusations against him, the preacher fled to Belgium at the end of August, where he was arrested a month later. Hassan Iquioussen, living in France since his birth in 1964, was finally deported to Morocco in January 2023.

The Moroccan imam filed a petition against France with the European Court of Human Rights a few months later, arguing that his expulsion to Morocco put him at risk of inhuman and degrading treatment. The European court, however, rejected the request in June 2023, considering that the expulsion request came from Belgium and not France. Another appeal filed by Hassan Iquioussen is pending before the Paris administrative court.

► Mmadi Ahamada, in May 2022

In July 2021, Gérald Darmanin requested the suspension of the imam of the Saint-Chamond (Loire) mosque, Mmadi Ahamada, accusing him of a sermon pinned on X (formerly Twitter) by a municipal councilor from the National Rally (RN). He promoted an extract from sura 33 of the Koran: “Muslim women, try to obey the rights of Allah and those of your husbands, stay at home”.

The Minister of the Interior immediately asks the association which manages this mosque to instruct “non-renewal of the residence permit” of this man, then 34 years old, who arrived from the Comoros in 2013. The prefecture also issues, at the request of the ministry, an obligation to leave French territory (OQTF).

After an unsuccessful appeal filed with the Lyon administrative court, Mmadi Ahamada was finally deported in May 2022 to the Comoros, with his wife and three children, following a non-renewal of his residence permit. The court, however, rejected the reason of “ threat to public order » invoked by the Loire prefecture and canceled the ban on returning to French territory for a period of one year.

► Doudi Abdelhadi, in April 2018

In April 2018, Doudi Abdelhadi, imam of the As-Sounna mosque, located in the heart of Marseille, received an expulsion order for the content of his sermons, deemed too radical. This decision is however suspended by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) which requests time to examine the request.

Doudi Abdelhadi, of Algerian origin, is placed in an administrative detention center while awaiting the decision which falls two days later. The ECHR gives the green light on April 19, considering that the imam’s sermons constitute “acts of explicit and deliberate provocation to discrimination, hatred or violence against a specific person or group of people”.

They want to make an example of it» estimated for his part Vincent Geisser, sociologist specializing in Islam, in 2018, interviewed by the New York Times regarding the government’s decision: “This is more of a communication strategy advocating firmness.”

Several imams were also expelled under the five-year terms of Nicolas Sarkozy and François Hollande, for discriminatory remarks or inciting hatred, like the Tunisian imam Mohammed Hammami in 2012, or even a “ ten » of imams in 2015, as announced by the Minister of the Interior at the time, Bernard Cazeneuve.

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