Four mosques in the suburbs of Paris have been shut down by France's Interior Ministry after it was reportedly discovered that they were promoting "hatred and violence". Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve issued the closure of the institutions under the state of emergency law, which allows shutting places of worship if they present a serious risk to security and public order.
The ministry released a statement explaining that the mosques in the suburbs of Yvelines, Seine-Saint-Denis and Val-de-Marne were found to be promoting ideas that were contrary to the country's values. "Under the guise of ritual ceremonies, these places [harboured] meetings aimed at promoting radical ideology, [which is] contrary to the values of the [French] Republic and may constitute a serious risk to security and public order," it mentioned.
The statement went on to reiterate Cazeneuve's "determination" to protect French citizens and "fight terrorism by all legal means" while committing to "allow the peaceful coexistence of all [places of] worship in compliance with the laws of the Republic".
In August, it was discovered that the Al-Islah mosque in Val-de-Marne hosted a clandestine Islamic school, which was linked to 12 people who were earlier convicted for their alleged involvement in jihadist groups in Syria.
In Yvelines, the mosque called "for discrimination, hatred, and even violence," according to the decree of the local prefect.
On 12 October, Cazeneuve indicated that about 20 mosques and prayer rooms have been closed for preaching radical ideas. "There is no place... in France for those who call for and incite hatred in prayer halls or in mosques," he said at that time, adding that the closures would continue.
The stringent measures come in the wake of the various Islamic State (Isis) attacks across the country — November 2015 terror attacks in Paris, Nice tragedy and the killing of a priest at a French church this July.