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France Expels Muslim Cleric Over ‘Radicalism’, ‘Unacceptable Remarks’

Muslim cleric Mahjoub Mahjoubi has said ‘his comments had been taken out of context and that he had not meant to disrespect the French flag’.

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AP
French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin. | Photo: AP
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France has expelled Muslim cleric over alleged “radicalism” and “unacceptable remarks” on the country’s flag.

Muslim cleric Mahjoub Mahjoubi who originally hails from Tunisia has been expelled from the country, Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin announced on micro-blogging site X.

"The radical Imam Mahjoub Mahjoubi has just been expelled from the national territory, less than 12 hours after his arrest. We will not let people get away with anything," Darmanin said.

He also said he had given instructions to issue a ministerial deportation order against "this radical 'imam' with unacceptable remarks".

"Firmness is the rule," he added.

According to the Reuters report, the cleric had referred to "the three-coloured flag" as "satanic".

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The report mentioned Mahjoubi, who preached in the Ettaouba mosque of Bagnols-sur-Ceze, southern France, has denied any wrongdoing.

He as per the report stated that “his comments had been taken out of context and that he had not meant to disrespect the French flag.”

The French flag has three colours: blue, white and red.

His lawyer quoted in the report said told he will appeal the expulsion procedure.

The expulsion order, which stated that Mahjoubi had "conveyed a literal, backward, intolerant, and violent conception of Islam, likely to encourage behaviors contrary to the values of the Republic, discrimination against women, identity retreat, tensions with the Jewish community, and jihadist radicalization'," it stated.

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The reports also said Mahjoubi was being held in administrative detention in the Paris region. Several French media outlets also reported Mahjoubi was on a plane headed to Tunis on Thursday evening.

Darmanin said that the French government's new immigration law, voted earlier this year, had allowed for the quick expulsion of the imam.

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