World, Europe

France closes mosque for 'encouraging radicalism'

19 mosques have been closed in France since Nov. 2015 Paris attacks

 France closes mosque for 'encouraging radicalism' FILE PHOTO

By Yusuf Ozcan


A French court on Saturday issued orders to close down a mosque in Marseille city in southern France for allegedly "encouraging radicalism and violence".

An administrative court in Marseille acted on a petition by Governor Pierre Dartout who asked the As-Sunna Mosque to be closed for six months.

The court ruled that the religious official of the mosque "encouraged radical ideology, discrimination, and violence."

So far, at least 19 mosques have been closed across France since a state of emergency was declared following the Nov. 2015 Paris attacks. It was extended several times and ended on Nov. 1 this year.

Some regulations over fighting against terrorism have given mandate to regional governors.

In late October, President Emmanuel Macron signed a new anti-terror and security law which gives the authorities powers to search homes, restrict movement and close places of worship.

Rights groups and international platforms, including the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), have expressed concerns that the new law -- which grants police exceptional powers -- would create a permanent quasi-state of emergency in the country.

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