French authorities yesterday said that they would close a Paris mosque as part of a clampdown on radical Islam that has yielded over a dozen arrests following the beheading of a teacher who had shown his pupils a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed.
The mosque in a densely populated suburb northeast of Paris had disseminated a video on its Facebook page days before Friday’s gruesome murder, railing against teacher Samuel Paty’s choice of material for a class discussion on freedom of expression, a source close to the investigation said.
The French Ministry of the Interior said the mosque in Pantin, which has about 1,500 worshipers, would be shut tonight for six months.
French Minister of the Interior Gerald Darmanin had asked regional authorities to carry out the mosque closure.
The head of the mosque, M’hammed Henniche, said he had shared the video not to “validate” out of concern for Muslim children being singled out in class.
Meanwhile, Paris prosecutors said they had opened an investigation into a French neo-Nazi Web site hosted abroad that republished the photograph of Paty’s decapitated corpse posted to Twitter by the killer.
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