The prefecture of l’Oise orders the temporary closing of the Great Mosque of Beauvais
The religious establishment will be closed for 6 months due to sermons “inciting hate”, “ violence”, and “defending jihad.”
December 28, 2021
The prefecture of l’Oise has ordered the closure of the Great Mosque of Beauvais for 6 months, specifically due to sermons “inciting hate”, “violence”, and “promoting jihad”, it announced Tuesday, December 28.
“The prefecture of l’Oise has issued a decree Monday for the closure of the Grand Mosque of Beauvais for 6 months. This decree is enforceable after 48 hours,” stated the prefecture. This religious site serves some 400 faithful.
The association Hope and Brotherhood, which operates the mosque, deplored an “unjust and unjustified decision,” because it “shows, by all evidence, a will to harm the Muslim community by highlighting some elements taken out of their context and thus, deprive hundreds of the faithful,” of a religious site. Samim Bolaky, the association’s lawyer, announced to Agence France Press that he had petitioned the administrative court of Amiens for a temporary injunction against this decision. A hearing must take place within 48 hours, according to the lawyer.
On December 14, Minister of the Interior Gerald Darmanin announced that the procedure of administrative closure of this mosque had been initiated — because of, according to him, the radicalism of the sermons. “We have initiated the closure of the Beauvais mosque, which is completely unacceptable, which attacks Christians, homosexuals, Jews,” the minister stated on the CNews TV channel.
Support for jihad and incitement to hate
Attorney Bolaky had then claimed that the authorities targeted “certain remarks made during sermons by one of the imams of the mosque — since suspended — who spoke on an unpaid basis.” The Hope and Brotherhood association has always advocated living together. “It is a respectable mosque,” he insisted.
The sermons of this imam, “described as an occasional speaker,” but, “in reality, a regular imam of the Great Mosque of Beauvais,” the decree reads, “promote jihad as a ‘duty’ and glorify the combatants, whom he describes as ‘heroes’, in the service of protecting the Muslim religion, which, according to this speaker, is threatened by Western societies.” Also according to the decree, his sermons “defend a rigorous and radical practice of Islam and the superiority of religious rules over those of French law, to which disobedience is legitimate.”
These remarks encourage, “the faithful into an identity of withdrawal,” and “incites them to break with the Republic, going so far as to view non-Muslims as enemies.” The imam also appeals “to hate, to discrimination against certain categories of persons, such as Jews, Christians, or homosexuals.”
5 religious sites under investigation
The prefecture reproaches the mosque officials for not condemning these remarks disseminated on social media, one of them also, according to the prefecture, posting the publications of the imam on its Facebook page. The prefecture claims that “given the seriousness of the terrorist threat at a very high level,” it is proper to, “announce the closure of the religious site… for a period of 6 months for the purpose of preventing the commission of terrorist acts.”
According to the Ministry of the Interior, there are 2,623 mosques and prayer rooms in France, and, among these religious sites, “99 were suspected of separatism,” All “have been investigated over the course of the last few months”. “As to 36 religious sites, the investigations have shown that the law of the Republic was strictly respected, for example, following a change of imam or association governance,” the Ministry stated.
In addition, “21 religious sites are currently closed, due to administrative regulations, a judicial decision, takeover of lease, work, or administrative closure.” Aside from the Beauvais mosque, 5 “are objects of investigation which will allow the initiation of a closure, in particular, on the basis of the law against separatism.”