Europe

France expels 'anti-Semitic' Tunisian preacher

  • 31 October 2012
  • From the section Europe
French Interior Minister, Manuel Valls (R) answers journalists' questions, on October 31, 2012 in Paris,
Image caption France's interior minister Manuel Valls said he would be "uncompromising" on hate speech

France has expelled a Tunisian imam accused of spreading anti-Semitic views and denigrating women at his Paris mosque.

The French interior ministry said Muhammad Hammami, 77, was guilty of "deliberate, repeated and unacceptable provocations".

He was arrested at his home and flown straight to Tunis, although he has lived in France for much of his life.

The move comes as Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu is visiting France.

He is due to visit the Jewish school in Toulouse where a teacher and three children were murdered earlier this year by Muslim extremist Mohamed Merah.

French officials say that Mr Hammami frequently made anti-Semitic speeches and called for "violent jihad" from his pulpit at the Omar Mosque.

He also reportedly called for adulterous wives to be whipped to death and defended violence against women.

Interior Minister Manuel Valls told reporters: "We decided to be uncompromising against all those who utter hate speech against the Republic and our values."

The preacher, whose assets were frozen by the government in May, has denied all the allegations against him.

French authorities have expelled numerous Muslim imams in recent years for preaching anti-Western sentiments.

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