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French government denounces leftists who oppose the expulsion of a radical imam

French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin has criticized members of the far-left France Insoumise party, whom he accused of defending a radical Islamist imam about to be expelled from France.

Minister Darmanin, who last week announced the expulsion of radical Moroccan imam Hassan Iquioussen, lambasted members of France Insoumise (LFI), whom he accused of defending the imam and trying to prevent his deportation.

“This gentleman has nothing to do on national soil and that they can defend him in the sense of the term freedom of expression, tells me the state of intellectual decomposition that the far left LFI has on this point”, Darmanin told CNews. Thursday.

Since the announcement of the expulsion of the radical imam, members of LFI in the French parliament have criticized Darmanin, including MP David Guiraud who declared: “These questionable procedures must challenge all democrats concerned with preserving our rule of law. .

Another LFI deputy, Manuel Bompard, argued that if the imam had made anti-Semitic and homophobic remarks, he should be tried by a French court: “it cannot be up to the arbitrariness of the Minister of the Interior to decide which words are acceptable or not.”

Darmanin hit back at criticism from these MPs, saying that of the 2,600 mosques across France, only about 20 support Imam Iquioussen. He called on Don LFI to fire David Guiraud, arguing that his words reflected on the rest of the party.

Since becoming interior minister in 2020, Darmanin has spoken widely about the fight against the spread of radical Islam and has been involved in the closure of several radical mosques, including following the beheading of the teacher Samuel Paty by a radical Chechen refugee in October 2020.

More recently, Darmanin has turned his attention to the deportation of foreign criminals and advocated last month for reform of deportation laws to allow French authorities to deport more foreign-born criminals who commit crimes. serious crimes.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or by e-mail at ctomlinson(at)

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