Living in the north of France, in Lourches, imam Hassan Iquioussen held, according to the elements collected by the northern prefecture of which AFP was aware, speeches “hateful towards the values of the Republic including secularism”.
The Council of State, the highest French administrative court, gave the green light on Tuesday to the expulsion to Morocco of a preacher reputed to be close to the Muslim Brotherhood, in accordance with the request of the Minister of the Interior, who accuses him of “anti-Semitic remarks” in particular. Living in the north of France, in Lourches, Imam Hassan Iquioussen held, according to the elements collected by the northern prefecture of which AFP was aware, speeches “hate towards the values of the Republic including secularism” and to develop “anti-Semitic theses”. He is also accused of inciting “a form of separatism” and of fueling “conspiracy theses around Islamophobia”.
The Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin, announced on July 28 the expulsion of this man, born in France but of Moroccan nationality. An expulsion suspended on August 5 by the administrative court of Paris, which considered that it would cause a “disproportionate attack” on his “private and family life”. The Interior Ministry appealed against this decision.
On Tuesday, the Council of State did not follow the decision of the administrative court, considering that “his anti-Semitic remarks, made for several years at numerous widely publicized conferences, as well as his speech on the inferiority of women and their submission to the man constitute acts of explicit and deliberate provocation to discrimination or hatred justifying the decision of expulsion”. “He also considers that this decision does not cause a serious and manifestly illegal attack on the private and family life of Mr. Iquioussen”, explains the Council of State, in its press release.
“A great victory for the Republic” according to Darmanin
This decision is “a great victory for the Republic”, rejoiced Mr. Darmanin, in a tweet published before the press release from the Council of State. “He will be expelled from the national territory,” he added. The imam’s lawyer, Me Lucie Simon, reacted on Twitter by believing that this decision symbolized “a weakened rule of law” and deplored “an alarming context of pressure from the executive on the judiciary”.
The Council of State validates the expulsion of Mr. Iquioussen who holds and propagates in particular anti-Semitic remarks and contrary to equality between women and men. This is a great victory for the Republic. He will be expelled from the national territory.
— Gérald DARMANIN (@GDarmanin) August 30, 2022
“The legal battle continues, the administrative court of Paris will have to look into the merits of the case soon, and Hassan Iquioussen is studying the possibility of seizing the ECHR again”, she added.
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) had refused to suspend the expulsion at the beginning of August, explaining that it only granted provisional measures of suspension “in exceptional circumstances”, when the applicant was exposed “to a real risk of irreparable damage”. Born in France, Hassan Iquioussen had decided when he came of age not to opt for French nationality. He claims to have given it up at the age of 17 under the influence of his father, and then to have tried in vain to recover it. His five children and his 15 grandchildren are French.