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France shuts Cannes mosque because of ‘anti-semitic’ remarks

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France’s interior minister said on Wednesday he had ordered the closure of a mosque on the French Riviera because of anti-Semitic remarks made there.

Gerald Darmanin said the mosque in the glitzy seaside city of Cannes was also guilty of supporting CCIF and BarakaCity, two associations that the government dissolved at the end of last year for spreading “Islamist” propaganda.

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Darmanin told broadcaster CNews that he had consulted with the mayor of Cannes, David Lisnard, before shutting down the mosque.

The move comes two weeks after authorities closed a mosque in the north of the country because of what they said was the radical nature of its imam’s preaching.

The mosque in Beauvais, a town of 50,000 people some 100 kilometers (62 miles) north of Paris, was shut for six months because the sermons there incited hatred and violence and “defend jihad,” authorities said.

Last October, a mosque in Allonnes, 200 kilometers west of Paris, was closed also for six months for sermons defending armed “jihad” and “terrorism,” according to regional authorities.

The French government announced last year that it would step up checks of places of worship and associations suspected of spreading radical Islamic propaganda.

The crackdown came after the October 2020 murder of teacher Samuel Paty, who was targeted following an online campaign against him for having shown controversial cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed published by the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo during a civics class.

In the interview on Wednesday, the interior minister said that 70 mosques in France were considered to be “radicalized.”

According to the ministry, there are a total of 2,623 mosques and Muslim prayer halls in the country.

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