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French government looks for ways to close down more mosques


The anti-Muslim climate in France is normalizing a general crackdown on the country’s 6 million-strong Muslim community.
France’s right-wing Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin in a statement expressed his displeasure at not being able to close down more mosques in the country.
Darmanin made the comments in response to a parliamentary question about mosques that the government sees as promoting “separatism.”
“The laws of the Republic do not allow us to close these places of worship,” he said.
That hasn’t stopped the government of French President Emmanuel Macron from closing down 17 mosques for violating vague “security laws” or not having the right “safety standards.” An additional 89 mosques are also under surveillance.
There is increasing concern amongst French civil society, international human rights organizations and local Muslims who fear that Macron’s government is disproportionately targeting Muslims in a bid to curry favor with far-right voters with presidential elections just over one year away.
Darmanin’s comments also come at a time when the French parliament is in the final stages of approving a controversial Separatism Bill, which some have seen as a tool created to specifically target the country’s Muslim community.
Amnesty International has accused the French government of doubling down “on their perpetual smear campaign against French Muslims” and of launching their “own attack on freedom of expression” as a means of silencing the country’s Muslim community.

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