France decides to close 160 mosques throughout the country: Govt. Sources

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PARIS: France is set to close as many as 160 mosques in the coming months, a top imam in the country said Wednesday. Hassan El Alaoui, who is the chaplain for Muslims in French prisons and is in charge of nominating imams for official positions, told Al Jazeera that the closure of three mosques this week was a precedent that was likely to turn into a trend. “According to official figures and our discussions with the interior ministry, between 100 and 160 more mosques will be closed because they are run illegally without proper licenses, they preach hatred, or use takfiri speech,” he told . “This kind of speech shouldn't even be allowed in Islamic countries, let alone secure countries like France.” El Alaoui also justified the closure of the three mosques in Paris this week, saying that they were due to “some illegal things (authorities) have found.” In the raid on a mosque Wednesday in Lagny-sur-Marne, 22 miles east of Paris, officials found Jihadist propaganda, as well as weapons. Mosques in Lyon and the Paris suburb of Gennevilliers were closed last week, because they were being used to “preach radicalization,” officials said. In a recent interview, Meyer Habib, a Jewish member of the French parliament, said that it was time to shut down the radicalized mosques in France. “We will have to have a review of our national and international strategy in our war against the Jihadists,” said Habib. “We are going to have been more careful about identifying our enemies and our allies. (Al Jazeera)