France deports Muslim cleric over remark on flag: ‘Wont let people get away…’

A Tunisian Muslim cleric, Imam Mahjoub Mahjoubi, was expelled from France due to his “unacceptable” comments on the French flag, French Interior Minister, Gerald Darmanin, announced on Thursday.

Interior Minister Darmanin, in a statement shared on social media platform X, wrote, “The radical Imam Mahjoub Mahjoubi has just been expelled from the national territory, less than 12 hours after his arrest. We will not let people get away with anything.”

This came after Mahjoubi’s social media post wherein he referred to the French tricolour flag as “satanic”, according to news agency Reuters.

However, the Muslim cleric, who served at the Ettaouba mosque in Bagnols-sur-Ceze, has defended his statements, claiming they were misconstrued and asserting that he never intended to disrespect the French flag, Reuters reported.

His lawyer announced plans to appeal the expulsion procedure, arguing against the decision.

According to Reuters, the French media revealed parts of the expulsion order, which accused Mahjoubi of promoting a “literal, backward, intolerant, and violent conception of Islam.”

This ideology, according to the order, could potentially incite behaviours contrary to the Republic’s values, including discrimination against women, withdrawal into identity, tensions with the Jewish community, and encouragement of jihadist radicalisation.

The Muslim cleric was placed on a flight to Tunis on Thursday evening, reported Reuters, quoting radio network France Info.

Published By:

Aditi Sharma

Published On:

Feb 25, 2024

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