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World Mosque of Pantin: the appeal against the closure judged Monday by the administrative court

23:45  22 october  2020
23:45  22 october  2020 Source:   leparisien.fr

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Archives. La mosquée de Pantin, lors d’un prêche après les attentats de Charlie Hebdo. © LP Archives. The Pantin mosque, during a sermon after the Charlie Hebdo attacks.

The 1,500 faithful of the Pantin mosque will be fixed on Monday. That day takes place the examination of the appeal brought before the administrative tribunal of Montreuil, by its manager, M'hammed Henniche, against the order closing the place of worship taken by the prefect of Seine-Saint-Denis to the request of the Ministry of the Interior. This decision comes in the context of the investigation into the terrorist attack in Conflans-Saint-Honorine.

The Prefect relies on several things to justify his decree. First, the publication of the video of the student's parent calling for mobilization against Samuel Paty after he showed cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad to his students. He was assassinated a few days later. There are also reports of anti-public school published on M'hammed Henniche's social networks, the presence of a radical imam within the mosque of Pantin, as well as the contacts of the patron of the place of worship with the controversial Islamologist Tariq Ramadan.

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For William Bourdon and Vincent Brengarth, the lawyers of M'hammed Henniche, but also of the NGO Baraka-City and the Collective against Islamophobia in France (CCIF), both targeted by dissolution proceedings initiated by the State, this decree does not hold.

“They loaded the mule with motivations that do not hold, or that are false. They want to make Mr. Henniche an example in this case ”, summarizes Vincent Brengarth. Who recalls that his client has been a "privileged interlocutor" of institutions and elected officials in the Paris region for 20 years. He was consulted during the riots of 2005 by Nicolas Sarkozy, and a number of high-profile elected officials are regularly present at the events of his association, UAM 93. “The message sent by the government is not good: why s are we attacking a religious leader who has been going hand in hand with the state for years? »Asks Vincent Brengarth.

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The publication of the video? "It's an error"

Regarding the publication of the video, the lawyer recalls that it was "deleted". “This is a mistake that my client regrets. It was published in a particular context before the attack, ”he explains. At the time, Henniche published it because the father of the offending student explains that Muslim students had to report to Samuel Paty during the course on caricatures. Seeing this as a "stigma". In fact, the teacher asked them to turn their heads if they were afraid of being shocked.

“Obviously, the attack completely changed the view of this episode,” argues the lawyer, who underlines the “very emotional” side of this case.

Another argument motivating the closure, the presence, among a dozen preachers, of Imam Ibrahim Abou-Talha. The man studied in Yemen, in a fundamentalist institute where Youssef Abou-Anas, ex-imam of the mosque of Ecquevilly (Yvelines) also studied. It was closed in 2016 after sermons deemed hostile to Jews and women, among others. The decree also specifies that Ibrahim Abou-Talha educated his children at the clandestine school of Bobigny closed in early October by prefectural decree, after the discovery of a book unsuitable for teaching young children.

On this point, Vincent Brengarth is surprised: “The decree does not say what is precisely reproached to my client… who is not the implicated imam! Ditto for his supposed links with Tariq Ramadan: "He joined his collective 20 years ago, before leaving it. We make something survive that has no place!

Finally, the anti-public school statements would be a mistake by the authorities. These were published by Hassen Farsadou, the other head of UAM 93.

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This is interesting!