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Europe

French government bans three Islamic groups alleging links to November Paris attacks

media The mosque at Lagny-Sur-Marne AFP

France’s government has banned three Islamic organisations that ran a mosque that was shut down following November’s Paris attacks - the first ban on NGOs since the declaration of the state of emergency was declared after the attacks. The government accused the leaders of the three cultural groups of inciting hatred and calling for jihad over a period of several years.

“There is no place in the French Republic for groups that call for terrorism or for hate," Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said on Wednesday. "The government and my ministry will take this opportunity to reaffirm our commitment to protecting French Muslims who respect the rules of the republic from the corruption of their religion by

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individuals led by a discourse of hate in violation of the republic’s values.”

The three organisations ran a mosque at Lagny-sur-Marne, in the Paris region, which was closed as part of a huge security crackdown after the 13 November Paris attacks that left 130 people dead.

Officials accused imam Mohamed Hammoumi of playing a "major role in the indoctrination and recruitment of volunteers for jihad in Syria".

Hammoumi, a 34-year-old French national, left for Egypt at the end of 2014.

The finance ministry, which froze his property in April, said that some of his pupils were close to the perpetrators of the Paris attacks.

Kalashnikov magazines and propaganda videos and other material were seized when the mosque was closed.

Other mosques and prayer halls have been closed for the duration of the state of emergency, which should end in February, but these are the first NGOs to be shut down.

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