Imam Mahjoub Mahjoubi expelled from France: what is he accused of?

Arrested at midday, the imam of Gard Mahjoub Mahjoubi was finally deported to Tunisia this Thursday evening, announced Gérald Darmanin on X (ex-Twitter).

Imam Mahjoub Mahjoubi expelled from France: what is he accused of?

Arrested at midday, the imam of Gard Mahjoub Mahjoubi was finally deported to Tunisia this Thursday evening, announced Gérald Darmanin on X (ex-Twitter).

“The radical ‘Imam’ Mahjoub Mahjoubi has just been expelled from the national territory, less than 12 hours after his arrest,” the Minister of the Interior rejoiced Thursday evening on the social network criticized new immigration law. “It is the demonstration that the immigration law, without which such a rapid expulsion would not have been possible, makes France stronger,” assured Gérald Darmanin. And to add: “We will not let anything pass.”

Targeted by a request to withdraw his residence permit, imam Mahjoub Mahjoubi was arrested on Thursday, around 12:30 p.m., at his home in Bagnols-sur-Cèze, in Gard. The man of Tunisian origin had been placed in a detention center in the Paris region, according to BFMTV. At the time of his arrest, Mahjoub Mahjoubi, "in shock", according to his entourage, had read the expulsion order signed by the Minister of the Interior.

In detail, the expulsion order indicates that the imam is accused of having "conveyed a literal, retrograde, intolerant and violent conception of Islam, likely to encourage behavior contrary to the values ​​of the Republic, discrimination against women, identity withdrawal, tensions with the Jewish community and jihadist radicalization", relays Le Figaro which was able to consult it. Still according to the decree, Mahjoub Mahjoubi repeatedly presented women “as inferior, weak and venal,” claiming that they should be “controlled by men” and could “be sequestered in the name of religion.” Among the other criticisms made of him, we also note "hateful and discriminatory" remarks that he would have made when referring to "non-Muslims" or even "French society".

Earlier in the day, the imam and his defense, lawyer Samir Hamroun, had affirmed their intention to file an appeal before the Paris administrative court on Thursday evening in order to “contest this expulsion procedure.” But "it will not be suspensive", Mr. Hamroun admitted to Midi libre, specifying that everything depended "on Tunisia and the consular pass".

With this appeal, the imam and his lawyer hoped to prove that there was no urgency to expel Mahjoub Mahjoubi from French territory to give him the opportunity to speak on this matter. “We are witnessing an unprecedented violation of fundamental rights and public freedoms,” emphasized Me Hamroun to BFMTV, adding that Mahjoub Mahjoubi was not the subject of any summons to be able to explain the controversy who surrounds him after the broadcast of a video of one of his sermons.

Speaking to Midi libre, the advisor also returned to the arrest of the imam this Thursday. "We didn't expect it. I thought he would be taken into custody as part of the investigation for advocating terrorism," he confided. And to affirm: “This is the first time in the history of the Fifth Republic that a foreigner has been the subject of an extradition procedure so quickly.”

The affair around Mahjoub Mahjoubi began on February 18 with the broadcast of a video of the imam giving a sermon in which he evokes "tricolor flags which gangrene us" subsequently described as "Satanist" standards ". It is never specified whether the French flag is in question and the imam assures in his defense that no, that he made a slip of the tongue between "tricolor" and "multicolor" when wanting to talk about African flags.

The Minister of the Interior immediately reacted by requesting the withdrawal of the imam's residence permit, an initiative justified not only by the videos of the sermon, but by the remarks made by Mahjoub Mahjoub during previous sermons according to the prefect of Gard, Jérôme Bonet. The prefect who reported the imam to the public prosecutor of Gard, believes that the remarks in question “call into question the principles of the Republic”. After the reports, a preliminary investigation into advocating terrorism was opened. Minister Gérald Darmanin, for his part, assured that “no call to hatred will go unanswered”.

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