Paris court stops deportation of radical imam accused of hate speech

The Paris Administrative Court on Friday halted the deportation of Imam Hassan Iquioussen after he was ordered to leave the country for hate speech by Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin.

The court suspended the expulsion of the 57-year-old Moroccan imam, arguing that the deportation order would disproportionately interfere with the radical imam’s “private and family life” under European law.

“The sole ground based on the existence of acts of explicit and deliberate incitement to discriminate against women does not justify the removal order without serious and manifestly disproportionate infringement of his right to a normal private and family life,” the court said. Le Figaro reports.

Interior Minister Darmain responded to the ruling by saying he would immediately appeal to the Council of State, France’s highest administrative court.

Darmanin added in a statement that he was “determined to fight against those who hold and spread comments of an anti-Semitic nature and against equality between men and women.”

In its ruling, the court noted that Imam Iquioussen was born in France, although he never chose to become a French citizen, and that he has a wife, five children and 15 grandchildren.

While some oppose the measure to deport the radical imam, a poll published earlier this week found that 91 percent of the French public agree in principle with a policy of expelling foreign imams who deliver sermons and speeches in contrary to the republican values ​​of France.

Even among France Insoumise’s far-left supporters, a large majority said they support the deportation of radical foreign imams, while members of right-wing parties almost unanimously supported the policy.

The Paris court ruling comes after Iquioussen brought the case to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), but dismissed his case.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at: @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)

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