France to deport ‘radical foreign imams’

French Interior Minister Manuel Valls
French Interior Minister Manuel Valls

French Interior Minister Manuel Valls has said that Paris is set to deport a string of radical religious imams as part of a fight against “global jihadism”.

“Several radical foreign preachers will be expelled in the coming days,” Valls told a Brussels conference called to tackle extremism in Europe on Tuesday, without identifying any of the individuals concerned.

“I don’t confuse this radical Islam with the Islam of France but there is a religious environment, there are Salafist groupings, who are involved in a political process, whose aim is to monopolize cultural associations, the schooling system,” he added.

“We will expel all these imams, all these foreign preachers who denigrate women, who hold views that run counter to our values and who say there is a need to combat France.

“We have to be extremely firm and that I will be,” he said.

The move is part of a program that France has carried for years against those who preach violence or considered to be a threat to public order and French values.

In October, France expelled a Tunisian imam accused of calling his followers to “violent jihad” and violence against women, the interior ministry said.

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