War on imams Why does Imam Mahjoubi face deportation from France? War on imams Why does Imam Mahjoubi face deportation from France?

War on imams Why does Imam Mahjoubi face deportation from France?

War on imams Why does Imam Mahjoubi face deportation from France?

After fragments of his sermon were circulated on social media, the French authorities are pursuing Imam Mahjoub al-Mahjoubi on charges of “insulting the flag and inciting hatred,” which puts him at risk of deportation.

The imam of the city of Banyuls-sur-Seize (southern France), Mahjoub Mahjoubi, faces the risk of deportation from the country, due to the French authorities accusing him of “insulting the French flag” and “inciting hatred,” in connection with a partial excerpt of a sermon he had delivered in the city’s mosque.

The imam denies all the charges against him, while the movements against him come in the context of a campaign launched by the French Interior Ministry during at least the last two years, during which it pursued and deported a number of prominent religious figures within the country’s Muslim community.

Imam Mahjoubi faces expulsion

A fragmentary clip of Imam Mahjoub al-Mahjoubi’s sermon, which was originally on the subject of “Signs of the Hour,” received a great uproar in France, after it was widely circulated on social media, and later in the media, without reference to the general religious context of the sermon. .

In that widely circulated clip, the imam talks about the unity of Muslims at the end of time “so that the tri-colored flags will not divide them,” describing the disputes that take place over these flags during matches or events as “satanic.” While he spoke in the entire sermon about what the Islamic religion forbids, such as the use of alcohol and illegal relationships.

The far-right MP, Nicolas Mizzoni, took these clips and reposted them on his account on the “X” website, accusing the imam of intending to insult the French flag, which is usually referred to as the “Tricolore.”

CNews channel journalist Pascal Bro accused Imam Mahjoubi of "attacking France, insulting its flag, and mocking us, France, and its history." The journalist, known for his hostility to Muslims and immigrants, incited to deport the imam, and also incited against the country's Muslims, "because what Al-Mahjoubi means by the Day of Judgment is the humiliated reality of France today," as he put it.

On Sunday, French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin announced that he had asked the Grad Province Police Commissioner to withdraw the residency granted to Imam Mahjoub Mahjoubi. An investigation was also opened against him, in which he was accused of "inciting hatred and insulting the French flag."

A report on the BFMTV channel website stated that Imam Mahjoubi had been the subject of surveillance by the security services for the past three months, and that three complaints had been filed against him since last November.

Following this decision, Pierre Morin, the extreme right-wing representative of the National Rally Party, made a provocative move , as he visited the Tawbah Mosque, where the imam works, and gave them a plane ticket to Tunisia, as an indication of Mahjoub Al-Mahjoubi’s deportation.

The imam denies that he intended his sermon to be accused of insulting the French flag. He said in his interview with the France Bleu website: “It was a slip of the tongue, and not a mistake, because mistakes are voluntary. It was a slip of the tongue in my words because I am not Voltaire, nor, unfortunately, Victor Hugo.” Instead of saying: 'All these flags are multi-coloured or different colours', I said: 'Tri-coloured'."

In the same context, Imam Mahjoubi’s lawyer stated that his client “does not understand the accusations directed against him by the Grad Police Commissioner, and denies all the charges against him.”

France is pursuing imams!

This is not the first time that imams have been prosecuted in France. Before the uproar over Imam Mahjoubi, the French Interior Ministry in 2022 accused Moroccan Imam Hassan Equisne of “harming the principles of the Republic” and deported him to his country under the controversial “anti-isolationism” law.

The French Interior Ministry relied on fragmentary video clips of Imam Hassan Ekwesen’s sermons in order to issue a deportation decision, which is the same behavior that is being taken today against Imam Mahjoub al-Mahjoubi.

According to Imam Hassan Ekwesen’s lawyer, the video clips on which the Interior Ministry based its decision were “taken out of context,” and that his YouTube channel contains the full transcripts of the lectures in which he “expresses his support for gender equality,” considering the Interior Ministry’s decision “political opportunism.”

As a previous investigation by the French website Mediapart revealed , since the case of Hassan Equisne, the French Interior Ministry has been planning to circulate expulsion decisions to dozens of prominent religious figures in the Muslim community in France.

The Mediapart investigation said that French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin has an “obsession” with pursuing Islamic skits, in search of media propaganda among the extreme right.



"Social cleansing",How does Paris seek to expel the homeless before the Olympic Games?

With the Paris 2024 Olympic Games approaching, the authorities of the French capital are seeking to expel the homeless, which is condemned by human rights organizations, describing these efforts as “social cleansing.”

155 days separate the French capital from hosting the Summer Olympics, which Paris is betting will pass under the best conditions, and that it will reap from the largest global sporting event all possible economic gains and media exposure.

In this regard, the Paris authorities are seeking to pursue the homeless and force them to evacuate the capital in conjunction with the Games. This is what a number of human rights organizations condemn, considering it “social cleansing,” at a time when France is suffering from a widespread phenomenon of homelessness due to the economic conditions the country is going through.

Social cleansing!

As the Olympic Games in Paris approach, next July, the capital's authorities are intensifying their campaigns against homeless people, as forced evictions and the dismantling of their camps have multiplied, and the fines that punish these people have increased.

On February 7, the Utopia 56 organization, concerned with social services for homeless people, published that the French authorities had dismantled a homeless camp in the heart of Paris, “which contained about a hundred minor children.”

During the past months, many associations and non-governmental organizations have moved to take strong measures in recent weeks to denounce the eviction of more than 4,000 people from the homes of migrant workers, as well as the transfer of exiles to reception centers in the governorates.

According to lawyer Carole Benblanc, a member of the Bar Council and an activist in the Paris Bar Association, “We are already witnessing the criminalization of homeless people in Paris.” The lawyer adds that this criminalization is evident in “an increase in cases of deportation of people living without shelter and immigrants without residency,” and “we notice a large police presence and a systematic distribution of decisions to leave French territory.”

Since last year, the French authorities have been following these systematic measures. In April 2023, the largest camp for homeless people in the Parisian suburb of Saint-Denis, which was located near the accommodations prepared for athletes participating in the Olympic Games, was dismantled.

About 75 French human rights organizations denounced this situation and accused the authorities of carrying out “social cleansing.” The organizations said, in an open letter published last October, that “under the cover of the (sporting) event, the state expels and displaces thousands of people, without dialogue or real solutions.”

The organizations said that the 2024 Olympics “will cause profound disruption in the city, with a very negative impact on the lives of these people,” due to the eviction of homeless people, the reduction of emergency shelters, the closure of reception points, and the reduction of food aid distribution.

The letter indicated that the authorities have already begun the process of evacuating more than 4,000 people from temporary homes and transferring them to reception centers in other provinces.

In the same context, the French authorities deny what these organizations attribute to them. The Paris Metropolitan Commission said, in a previous statement , that it does not adopt a goal of “zero homeless people” by the time of the Olympics, and that it is working “to provide good places for people living on the streets of Paris and keep them in emergency accommodation.”

Homelessness a worsening crisis in France!

France is witnessing a significant expansion of the phenomenon of homelessness, and according to figures from the “Pastor Pierre” Foundation, which is concerned with the situation of the homeless in France, the number of homeless people in France is about 330 thousand people, in addition to 4.1 million people living in inappropriate housing.

Thus, France is the first European country in terms of the number of homeless people, and this number has doubled over the past ten years, and it is expected to double again during the next decade.

The same foundation added that between 500 and 600 homeless people lose their lives every year on the French streets. According to other statistics , this number in 2022 reached about 624 deaths. In the first third of 2023, at least 117 homeless people died in France.

According to the director of the "Pastor Pierre" Foundation, Manuel Domergue, the number of homeless people has doubled during the last decade "due to the housing crisis that France witnessed, in addition to the economic crisis in 2008." Domergue adds that the negative economic impacts caused by the Covid pandemic, in addition to high levels of inflation, have contributed to a significant increase in the number of homeless people in recent years.

Field actors criticize Macron's government's negligence in responding to this crisis, especially since he promised to eliminate homelessness during his 2017 election campaign. The French government had allocated about 120 million euros to address this problem, but active organizations in the field believe that this measure is insufficient.

According to Christophe Robert, General Delegate of the “Pastor Pierre” Foundation, “It is not enough to open an envelope (of money), you must perform the task and create emergency cells, and you must also strengthen the emergency accommodation system.”

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