A number of foreign born imams will be deported from France in the near future, according to French Interior Minister Manuel Valls.
Speaking at an international conference on extremist movements held in Brussels on Tuesday, Jan. 29, French Interior Minister Manuel Valls said the decision to deport radical Muslim leaders was part of a new effort to battle “global jihad”.
Valls promised "Several radical foreign preachers will be expelled in the coming days.” Valls spoke of a dangerous religious environment, and Salafists “who are involved in a political process, whose aim is to monopolise cultural associations, the schooling system,"
French Interior Minister Valls said:
"We will expel all these imams, all these foreign preachers who denigrate women, who hold views that run counter to our values and who say there is a need to combat France.
We have to be extremely firm and that I will be."
Unnamed Interior Ministry sources say the upcoming deportations will involve at least three people, including an imam from Seine-Saint-Denis, a suburb of the French capital with a large immigrant population. The cleric in question is said to regularly make homophobic remarks, the source said.
The decision to deport radical Muslim clerics comes amid heightened concerns over potential terrorist attacks. Earlier this month the jihadist group believed to be behind the recent deadly hostage siege in Algeria issued a series of threats against France, warning that the mass kidnapping at the In Amenas gas plant was “only the beginning.”