Green light from deputies to the closure of places of worship where hatred is preached

The National Assembly approved on Saturday an expansion of the grounds for closing places of worship, with mosques welcoming “preachers of hate” in the crosshairs.

This provision is one of the last of the bill against “separatism”, the examination of which at first reading at the Palais Bourbon is due to conclude on Saturday.

The solemn vote on the text “confirming respect for the principles of the Republic” – its official name – is scheduled for Tuesday afternoon, before it passes through the Senate.

Article 44 adopted Saturday establishes a closure procedure for two months by the prefects of places of worship theaters of speeches, ideas, theories, activities inciting hatred or violence, or tending to encourage them.

This provision extends the scope of a 2017 law, which provides for such a measure only in the context of the fight against terrorism. This law has allowed for the last three years the closure of eight Muslim places of worship, the most recent being the great mosque of Pantin (Seine-Saint-Denis) in October, after the murder of Professor Samuel Paty.

The right has demanded by way of amendments, without succeeding, a hardening of the device, with in particular an extension of the period of temporary closure.

On the left, the communist Stéphane Peu conversely denounced a “collective punishment” which “blacks out an entire community”. “When you have a pedophile priest, you don’t close the church,” he said.

“If there are no more places to reach out to hate preachers, little by little they will no longer preach,” said Citizens Minister Marlène Schiappa. MP Guillaume Vuilletet (LREM) said that “separatist” preachers should not be “left hostage”.

Source: Challenges en temps réel : accueil by

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