Terror Attack Fallout: France investigates mosques suspected of radicalisation

In an apparent fallout of the recent terror attacks in France, the government has called for an investigation of mosques which have been suspected of radicalisation. French authorities will raid dozens of mosques and prayer halls suspected of radical teachings as part of a crackdown on Islamist extremists following a spate of attacks, as per a report on France24.

Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin who conveyed the news also said that if any prayer hall was found to promote extremism it would be closed down. The Interior Ministry has flagged 76 mosques out of the more than 2,600 Muslim places of worship as possible threats to France’s Republican values and its security.

Though the name and location of the mosques to be investigated was not made public, the list put out by the ministry says that 16 of them were in the Paris region and 60 in other parts of the country.

Darmanin said that the investigators will look into the mosques’ financing and the background of imams who are suspected of radicalism. They will search for evidence in the Koranic schools for young children apart from other things.

France was hit by a series of terror attacks. The recent gruesome attacks that particularly shook France were  the beheading of a teacher who showed his pupils cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed and the stabbing to death of three people in a church in Nice.

The brutal murder of Samuel Paty, a teacher who had shown his students cartoons of Mohammed in a class on free speech, sent shockwaves through France. In the aftermath of his murder the authorities raided dozens of Islamic sports groups, charities and associations suspected of promoting extremism. A mosque near Paris that shared a vitriolic video inciting hatred of Paty was ordered to close down.

President Emmanuel Macron had called Islam a ‘religion in crisis’ and had warned of the growing threat of ‘Islamist separatism’ in France and its challenge to the unity of the secular republic. Despite condemnation and calls to boycott French products, the French President stood his ground and reiterated his commitment to reform Islam in France. Recent actions by the French government to monitor the teachings in mosques, speeches of imams and investigate mosques are seen as efforts towards the same.

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