France says ENOUGH! Imam who 'called the French flag satanic' deported to North Africa

France says ENOUGH! Imam who 'called the French flag satanic' deported to North Africa

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Oliver Trapnell

By Oliver Trapnell

Published: 26/02/2024

- 08:36

Updated: 26/02/2024

- 08:50

The French Interior Minister branded the Imam’s comments as ‘unacceptable’

A Tunisian Imam who called the French flag “satanic” has been deported from the country over accusations of “radicalism”.

Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin branded the remarks about the flag “unacceptable” and announced Mahjoub Mahjoubi would be expelled for “radicalism”.

In a statement on Twitter, Darmanin wrote: “Instructions were given to issue a ministerial expulsion order against this radical ‘Imam’ who made unacceptable remarks and he was the subject of a home visit and an arrest.

“Without the immigration law, this would not have been possible. Firmness is the rule.”

The Interior Minister later added that the Imam had been deported within 12 hours of his arrest.

In an update to his original social media post, Darmanin said: “The radical Imam Mahjoub Mahjoubi has just been expelled from the national territory, less than 12 hours after his arrest.

Gerald Darmanin and Mahjoub Mahjoubi

Mahjoub Mahjoubi was deported after saying the French flag was 'satanic'

Getty Images

“We will not let people get away with anything.”

The Muslim cleric went viral last week with his post on social media that “the three-coloured flag” was “satanic” which led to the post being widely reported in French media.

Although he did not explicitly mention the French flag, it is colloquially known as the ‘Tricolore’ in reference to its three colours - red, white and blue.

The Tunisian national, who preached in the Ettaouba mosque of Bagnols-sur-Ceze, southern France, has denied any wrongdoing.

Mahjoub Mahjoubi

Mahjoub Mahjoubi was reportedly deported within 12 hours of his arrest

Getty Images

Mahjoubi told French media that his comments had been taken out of context and that he had not meant to disrespect the French flag.

His lawyer told French media he will appeal the expulsion procedure.

French media published excerpts of the expulsion order, which stated that Mahjoubi had “conveyed a literal, backward, intolerant, and violent conception of Islam, likely to encourage behaviours contrary to the values of the Republic, discrimination against women, identity retreat, tensions with the Jewish community, and jihadist radicalisation'.”

The Imam also allegedly described the Tricolore as of “no value to Allah”.

Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin

Gerald Darmanin did not specify when, how and where Mahjoubi was expelled

Getty Images

Darmanin did not specify where the imam had been held nor when, how and where he was expelled.

It is believed Mahjoubi has been living in France since the 1980s and has raised five children in the country.

Mahjoubi later vowed to “fight to return to France, where I have lived for 40 years”.

“My lawyer is going to take legal action in France. If the court does not grant me justice, I will appeal, and then I will appeal to the European Court of Human Rights.

“I did not insult the Jewish community, nor the flag of France.”

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