France Probes 76 Mosques Suspected of ‘Islamist Separatism’

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France Probes 76 Mosques Suspected of ‘Islamist Separatism’

PARIS—France launched investigations into dozens of mosques across the country on Thursday as part of a contentious crackdown on what the government of President Emmanuel Macron considers “Islamist separatism.”

France’s top cop, Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin, told French radio that authorities were probing 76 different mosques, digging into their finances as well as activities like Islamic schooling for children. Mr. Darmanin said authorities suspect some imams of spreading hate against other religions or criticizing values of the French Republic like gender equality.

“There are in some areas—sometimes very concentrated—places of worship that are indeed clearly anti-republican,” Mr. Darmanin said, speaking on RTL radio on Thursday.

Authorities also suspect some worshipers who attend these mosques of condoning terrorism, he added.

“If these doubts are confirmed, I will ask for their closure,” Mr. Darmanin said.

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