Updated February 25th, 2024 at 10:37 IST

France Expels 'Radical' Tunisian Muslim Imam Over Remark On Flag: Interior Minister

Authorities in France’s Gard region where Mahjoubli widely preached were alerted to his anti-French statements.

Reported by: Digital Desk
French President Emmanuel Macron and Tunisian radical Imam Mahjoub Mahjoubi. | Image:AP/X
Advertisement

France has deported the 52-year-old radical Imam Mahjoub Mahjoubi after arresting him and then sending him to Tunisia, where he arrived shortly before midnight aboard a flight from Paris, according to agencies reports. The deportation came shorlty after French Interior Minister Gerarld Darmanin announced that Mahjoub Mahjoubi, an imam in Bagnols-sur-Céze, near Avignon, in the south of France, will be expelled from the country for anti-French values.

Authorities in France’s Gard region where Mahjoubli widely preached were alerted to his anti-French statements, as per the BFM outlet. In a video that was widely circulated on social media, Mahjoubli, a member of the local Muslim association called the French national flag as having the “satanic value.” The radical Imam said that the flag was put “ahead of the rule of Allah [lord]”, and was intended to divide Muslim communities. “These satanic flags are worth nothing to Allah [lord],” he said.

Advertisement

France’s interior minister, on X formerly called the Twitter, said that he “asked for the repeal of his [Imam’s]residence permit in preparation for his deportation.” He added that “no call to hate will be left unanswered.”

Radical Imam says anti-French sermon about ‘end of the world’

The imam Mahjoubli said he regretted his choice of words in a sermon. He continued that his controversial sermons were about the end of days, and not intended to be against France. It remains unclear how the French flag could be connected with the religious sermon about the end of the world or the doomsday as described across different world religions. The radial imam however said that his intention was to “remind Muslims in the mosque the need to unite under one authority.” He continued that “these words were also an occasion to talk about, while the Africa cup of nations was happening, the need for all not to oppose each other behind their own flag.”

Darmanin wrote that he has ordered the French security services that have "intensified the fight against radical and political Islam", at the request of President Emmanuel Macron. France will deport 26 percent more people last year, compared to 2022.

Advertisement

Published February 25th, 2024 at 10:37 IST