France: The Tunisian imam is not about to see his 2 wives and 11 children again, Administrative Court locks up


Tunisian Imam Mahjoub Mahjoubi, one of the initial targets of the new immigration law, is unlikely to return to France. The Paris Administrative Court has upheld the Minister of the Interior Gérald Darmanin’s decision to remove the Imam to Tunisia, mentioning “calls to hatred.” Despite Mahjoubi’s appeal to challenge the minister’s decision, invoking an interim relief, the court has ratified the expulsion.

In its ruling, the Administrative Court seeks to balance the imperative of protecting state and public security with the fundamental freedom of leading a normal family life. It deems the Imam’s behaviour as acts likely to threaten the essential interests of the state, characterized by explicit and intentional provocations inciting discrimination or hatred against specific individuals or groups.

Nevertheless, Mahjoubi’s attorney, Me Samir Hamroun, mounted a robust defence in a 30-page document, highlighting the Imam’s well-established life in France, including his vast family with 11 children from two marriages. The lawyer reasoned that the expulsion constituted a disproportionate measure given the alleged facts against Mahjoubi. Nevertheless, the court dismissed this argument in its entirety.

Mahjoub Mahjoubi’s expulsion from the country occurred at an unprecedented pace, less than 12 hours after his detention, amid a preliminary inquiry for advocating terrorism. He had been the subject of numerous reports from the Gard prefecture. According to authorities, some of his sermons “undermine the principles of the Republic.”

Especially, Mahjoubi is criticized for referring to the “tricolour flags” as “satanic flags” devoid of value in the eyes of Allah. He has likewise faced scrutiny for his comments on the status of women in society and on Jews, whom he reportedly labelled as an “enemy people.” These accusations prompted Darmanin to request the revocation of the Imam’s residence permit from the Gard prefect.

However, Mahjoubi’s legal combats are far from over. Following the announcement of the rejection of his appeal, his lawyer announced on BFMTV that they had appealed to overturn the court’s decision. Nevertheless, given the current trajectory, the chances of success appear slim.


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