France Immediately Deports Radical Imam for Insulting National Flag

After a “radical” Tunisian imam made insulting comments against the tricolor, the French national flag, France’s interior ministry announced that they expelled the imam from the country.

French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin wrote on X (formerly known as Twitter) on February 22nd that he asked for an expulsion order to be issued for 53-year-old Mahjoub Mahjoubi after the imam appeared in a viral video where he seemed to have referred to the French flag as "satanic.

Mahjoubi hails from Tunisia but immigrated to France 38 years ago. He was an imam at the Ettaouba mosque in the small town of Bagnols-sur-Cèze in southern France. The Islamic cleric is married with five children, who are all French citizens.

He was arrested earlier this week after he appeared in a video where he described a certain "tricolor flag" as "Satanic" and said it has "no value with Allah.” Although he did not refer to any specific flag, several comments under the video believed he was talking about the French flag.

Aside from the “unacceptable remarks” Mahjoubi made against the French flag, the imam was also accused of hate speech against the Jewish people. Hate crimes are illegal under French law.

French media published some parts of the expulsion order, which said Mahjoubi had promoted a "retrograde, intolerant, and violent image of Islam, likely to encourage behavior contrary to the values of the Republic.” The order also said the imam’s teachings encouraged discrimination against women, "tensions with the Jewish community," and "jihadist radicalization,” adding that he referred to the Jewish people as "the enemy” and advocated for “the destruction of Western society.

Mahjoubi boarded a flight back to Tunisia on the evening of February 22nd, less than 12 hours after he was arrested. Darmanin, who championed reforms to France’s immigration system, praised the new, stricter immigration laws that made it easier to deport foreigners, adding that the new laws enabled him to expel the imam swiftly.

The radical ‘Imam’ Mahjoub Mahjoubi has just been expelled from the national territory, less than 12 hours after his arrest. This is the demonstration that the Immigration law, without which such a rapid expulsion would not have been possible, makes France stronger. We won’t let anything go,” Darmanin said in his post in X.

Mahjoubi denied any wrongdoing and claimed he did not mean to be disrespectful. He later apologized if he caused any offense and said his comments on the French flag were a "slip of the tongue.

France’s immigration reforms reduced protections for foreign residents and made it easier for them to be deported if they get a criminal conviction or are deemed to be a "grave threat to public order.” It also made it tougher for foreigners to take advantage of the country’s social welfare.

Despite his apology, Mahjoubi plans to challenge the deportation order.

My lawyer is going to take legal action in France if the court does not grant me justice, I will appeal, and then I will appeal to the European Court [of Human Rights],” Mahjoubi said.

If you like our posts, subscribe to the Atheist Republic newsletter to get exclusive content delivered weekly to your inbox. Also, get the book "Why There is No God" for free.

Click Here to Subscribe

Donating = Loving

Heart Icon

Bringing you atheist articles and building active godless communities takes hundreds of hours and resources each month. If you find any joy or stimulation at Atheist Republic, please consider becoming a Supporting Member with a recurring monthly donation of your choosing, between a cup of tea and a good dinner.

Or make a one-time donation in any amount.