French Police Raid Mosques as Part of Gov’t Strategy to Combat Islamist Separatism and Extremism

Europe

The country, which has the largest Muslim minority population in Europe, has suffered from gruesome terrorist attacks in recent years and recently saw a fresh wave of violence following the decapitation of a schoolteacher in a Paris suburb.

Police in france have started raiding mosques suspected of promoting separatism and extremism. Earlier today, Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin posted a statement saying checks will be conducted in almost 76 places of worship in the coming days and if suspicions are confirmed, authorities will close them.

The minister did not disclose which mosques the authorities suspect of promoting extremism and separatism, but according to a note seen by Agence France-Presse, law enforcement plans to inspect 16 mosques in Paris and another 60 around the country.

Darmanin noted that the investigated places of worship are a tiny fraction of France’s 2,600 mosques, saying “we are far from a situation of widespread radicalisation”.

New Wave of Violence

The measure comes in response to a wave of violence that has hit france in recent months. On 16 October, a Muslim immigrant beheaded a schoolteacher, Samuel Party, because the latter had showed caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad to his pupils during lessons on free speech. Islam’s holy book, the Quran, doesn’t say anything about depictions of Allah or the Prophet Muhammad; nevertheless for many Muslims the issue is a taboo, while satire about…

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