NEWS BRIEF French authorities shut down 20 mosques and prayer halls they found to be preaching radical Islamic ideology since December, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said Monday.
Lutte contre la #radicalisation : depuis décembre 2015, une vingtaine de lieux de culte musulman ont été fermés— Ministère Intérieur (@Place_Beauvau) August 1, 2016
“Fight against the
#radicalization: since December 2015, twenty Muslim places of worship have been closed,” the Interior Ministry tweeted.
Of the country’s 2,500 mosques and prayer halls, approximately 120 of them have been suspected by French authorities of preaching radical Salafism, a fundamentalist interpretation of Sunni Islam, according to France 24.
“There is no place ... in France for those who call for and incite hatred in prayer halls or in mosques … About 20 mosques have been closed, and there will be others,” Cazeneuve said.
The announcement came days after French Prime Minister Manuel Valls called for a temporary ban on foreign funding of French mosques. A Senate committee report on Islam in France published in July found that though the country’s mosques are primarily financed through individual donations, a significant portion of their funding also comes from overseas—specifically from Morocco, Algeria, and Saudi Arabia. The same report called banning foreign financing of mosques “absurd and impossible,” calling instead for more transparency.