Administrative justice suspends the expulsion of Imam Hassan Iquioussen

Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin announced last week the forthcoming expulsion of this preacher born in France but of Moroccan nationality, accused by the French authorities of having made anti-Semitic, homophobic and “anti women” during sermons or conferences, held almost 20 years ago for some.

The judgment of the administrative court of Paris, of which AFP obtained a copy, considered that the remarks of the imam during a conference in 2018 according to which a man should not let his wife leave the household alone constituted “acts of provocation (…) to discrimination against women“.

But this motive alone”cannot justify the expulsion order without seriously and manifestly disproportionate interference with his right to lead a normal private and family life“, he concluded.

His lawyer Lucie Simon greeted AFP “a victory for the law“, while the minister announced to appeal before the Council of State, saying in a press release “determined to fight against those who make and disseminate comments of an anti-Semitic nature and contrary to equality between men and women“.

Mr. Darmanin”is more determined than ever“to expel him, commented to AFP a source close to the government, recalling his intention to legislate to achieve this, in particular through the immigration bill.

The court notably recalled that the 57-year-old imam was “born in France where he has resided since birth with his wife and five French children and fifteen French grandchildren“.

– “Measured decision“-

Consequently, the condition of urgency being satisfied given the imminence of the expulsion, (…) it is necessary to suspend the decision withdrawing his residence permit and that fixing the country of return“, adds the judgment.

The court also asks the Ministry of the Interior to issue Mr. Iquioussen “a temporary residence permit within three days“and proceed”on re-examination” of his situation within three months.

This administrative court ruled on a “summary-freedom“filed Tuesday by Hassan Iquioussen’s lawyer, an emergency procedure provided for when it is considered that an administration decision seriously and illegally infringes a fundamental freedom.

Mr. Iquioussen thanks French justice for having kept a cool head despite the media coverage of this case“, reacted Me Simon, saluting “a measured and healthy decision“, the court having in particular “rejected the conspiratorial remarks, considering that the latter, as regrettable as they are, were not in the legal sense an explicit incitement to hatred“.

The court similarly ruled that the documents in the file did not establish that the imam had “repeated anti-Semitic remarks after 2014“, nor that he encouraged “his audience to separatism“.

The lawyer added that she had filed a motion on the merits with the administrative court.

On behalf of the family, we are very happy with this decision.“, reacted for AFP one of the sons of the preacher, Sofiane Iquioussen. “He is not at home at the moment, he preferred to go to rest“, he added, claiming to ignore where his father was. The latter is no longer attached to a mosque but preaches”in different mosques“, especially in the Paris region, “where asked“, he clarified.

Born in Denain and living near Valenciennes, Hassan Iquioussen had decided when he came of age, according to Mr. Darmanin, not to opt for French nationality.

He claims to have given up French nationality at the age of 17 under the influence of his father and then tried in vain to recover it.

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), also seized by Me Simon, had refused on Thursday to suspend the expulsion, explaining that it was only granting provisional measures of suspension “only exceptionally“, when the applicant was exposed “to a real risk of irreparable damage“.

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