PANTIN, Seine-Saint-Denis (Reuters) – The great mosque of Pantin will be closed “within 48 hours” for a period of six months for having notably shared on his Facebook account a video which investigators believe led to the The assassination of Samuel Paty on Friday in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine (Yvelines), the Ministry of the Interior announced on Tuesday.
The 47-year-old teacher, beheaded by a young Islamist presumed to be of Chechen origin, had shown caricatures of Muhammad published by the Charlie Hebdo newspaper during a moral and civic education course, an initiative behind a hate campaign on social networks.
Faced with the shock caused by this assassination in the midst of the January 2015 terrorist attacks, including the one that targeted Charlie Hebdo, the government has stepped up initiatives and announcements aimed at combating Islamism and hatred online.
On Monday, the Minister of the Interior, Gerald Darmanin, thus highlighted the expulsion of radicalized foreigners and his desire to dissolve associations and places of worship linked to the Islamist movement.
In the closing decree posted on Tuesday morning at the entrance to the gate of the Pantin mosque, the prefect of Seine-Saint-Denis specifies acting under an article of the internal security code which allows the closure of a establishment “for the sole purpose of preventing the commission of acts of terrorism”.
He questions the sharing on the Facebook account of the mosque of the video in which Brahim C., the father of one of Samuel Paty’s students, called on “all Muslims” to put pressure on the teacher and the college of Bois d’Aulne, whose address he gave, to denounce his behavior and obtain his dismissal.
Brahim C., who is still in police custody in this case, also invited all those who wanted to “say stop” to contact him directly, and left his mobile number for this purpose. However, a source close to the investigation told Reuters on Tuesday that Abdoullakh A., the alleged killer of Samuel Paty, had sent a text message to Brahim C. before taking action.
THE “REGRETS” OF THE RECTOR OF THE MOSQUE
The rector of the great mosque of Pantin, M’hammed Henniche, had expressed as of this weekend his “regrets” to have shared the video on the Facebook account of the mosque, which has nearly 100,000 subscribers. The place of worship had condemned Saturday the “savagery” of the attack on its Facebook account, and called to participate in Sunday’s rally in tribute to the murdered professor.
M’hammed Henniche told the Parisian that he did it only because Brahim C. was “moved that we could have asked Muslim students to report themselves” before showing them caricatures of the prophet Muhammad, and not having endorsed the calls for mobilization subsequently orchestrated by the Franco-Moroccan Islamist activist Abdelhakim Sefrioui.
Believing Tuesday that the government acted to appease public opinion and under pressure from the “fascosphere”, M’hammed Henniche said he was a victim of “spectacle politics”.
“I have the feeling that they had to throw someone to the dogs’ food,” he told Le Parisien.
The religious association managing the mosque – which did not respond to requests from Reuters – had 48 hours to challenge or request a relaxation of the closure decision from its notification on Monday evening, the ministry was told. inside.
The prefectural decree also calls into question the involvement in the radical Islamist movement of the main imam of the mosque, the Salafist preacher of Malian origin Ibrahim Abou Talha, of whom Gerald Darmanin had declared Monday evening on TF1 that he had sent his children to school. at a young age in a clandestine “madrassa” closed two weeks ago in Bobigny (Seine-Saint-Denis).
After having read the text plastered on the grid, Maya, a resident of Pantin whose husband goes to the mosque every Friday, like 1,500 to 2,000 faithful outside the period of health restrictions linked to the coronavirus, said she was “sad” that we “have come to this”.
“It’s a shame for the whole community, for the city, for all Muslims,” said the young woman, who does not wear the Islamic headscarf like other residents of the neighborhood. “This case affects everyone.”
Edited by Henri-Pierre André