France Raids Mosques, Finds Weapons-Truth!

France Raids Mosques, Finds Weapons-Truth!

Summary of eRumor:
It’s been reported that French officials have raided and shutdown mosques after finding weapons and links to radicalization in them.
The Truth:
Reports that mosques in France have been raided and shut down in the wake of terrorist attacks in Paris on November 13th are true.
Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said on December 2nd that French officials had shut down three mosques and had detained 22 people who were believed to have participated in “Islamist radicalization.” In one of the mosques, located about 22 miles east of Paris, authorities seized a 9mm revolver, a hard drive and documents, the Wall Street Journal reports:

The sweep was part of the government’s massive security crackdown in the weeks sincecoordinated attacks on the streets of Paris left 130 people dead and hundreds injured. Since President François Hollande declared a state of emergency the night of the attacks, police have conducted more than 2,200 raids on homes and businesses, detained 232 people and seized 334 weapons, including 34 military weapons.

The other mosques closed since the declaration of a state of emergency are in Lyon and Gennevilliers, a northwestern Paris suburb, Mr. Cazeneuve said. “We will be totally firm against all those who preach hate in France,” Mr. Cazeneuve told lawmakers.

Despite the raids, French officials have cautioned against concluding that mosques in France are hotbeds for radicalization. “We must not cut ties with loyal Muslims of good faith,” Lagny-Sur-Marne’s mayor, Jean-Paul Michel, said on French television channel BFMTV.

A leading French Imam told Al Jazeera that many more shutdowns were likely in the days ahead. Hassan El Alauoi said that he expected between 100 and 160 mosques to be closed based on conversations with the interior ministry:

“This kind of speech shouldn’t even be allowed in Islamic countries, let alone secure countries like France,” El Alaoui, who became the first Muslim prison chaplain-general in 2005, said.

The recent mosque closures, he added, were made under “a legal act that the authorities have” and must have happened because “of some illegal things that they found”.

The imam also rejected those suspected of carrying out the suicide bomb and gun attacks, which left 130 people dead, as “terrorists”.

So, it’s true that three mosques have been shut down in Paris, and that more shutdowns could follow.

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