France closes mosque following crackdown on murder of teacher | France

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France on Tuesday ordered the temporary closure of a mosque outside Paris as part of a crackdown on those suspected of inciting hatred, after the murder of a teacher who was showing caricatures of the prophet in his classroom Mohammed.The Great Mosque of Pantin, in a low-income suburb of the northeastern suburbs of the capital, had shared a video on its Facebook page before the attack which expressed hatred against history professor Samuel Paty.

Police have pasted notices of the closing order outside the mosque as authorities pledged a firm response against hate broadcasters, controversial sermon preachers and foreigners suspected of posing a threat to the mosque. security of France.

The six-month order was “for the sole purpose of preventing acts of terrorism,” reads the opinion issued by the head of the department of Seine-Saint-Denis.

The beheading of Paty, an official, for his use of religious satire to explore the free speech debate with students has rocked the country and shocked the world.

The murder came weeks after President Emmanuel Macron expressed concern over what he calls “Islamist separatism.”

In a speech earlier this month, Macron said: ‘Islam is a religion that is in crisis all over the world today, we don’t just see this in our country’ – comments that led to a backlash from Muslims around the world, who claimed he was bending to the far right.

France’s fragile relationship with its Muslim minority, the largest in Europe, is at the breaking point.

Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said this week that France was facing an “internal enemy”.

Meanwhile, there are growing concerns about the collective punishment over France’s response to Friday’s murder.

Darmanin, in a Twitter post, threatened to shut down the Collectif contre l’islamophobie en France, an anti-racist civil society group, raising concern among activists.

“We are concerned about the political pressure, at the highest level of the French government, and the intimidation campaign against a human rights organization whose job is to fight discrimination and hate crimes against Muslim citizens ”, declared the European network against racism.

The rector of the Great Mosque of Pantin, M’hammed Henniche, this weekend expressed his regret for sharing the video on social networks, after it emerged that Paty had become the victim of a vicious campaign bullying online before you even get killed.

In the video, the Muslim father of one of Paty’s students said the history teacher chose Muslim students and asked them to leave his class before showing the cartoons. He called Paty a thug and said he wanted the professor removed.

Henniche told Agence France Presse that he shared the video, filmed by the father of a student at Paty’s school, not to endorse the complaint but out of concern for Muslim children.

The student’s father is now in police custody.

“There is no room for violence in our religion,” the mosque said in a statement posted on Facebook Monday. “We strongly condemn this savagery.”

A resident of Pantin, who gave her name Maya and said her husband prayed at the mosque, called the closure “sad for our community.”



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