Saturday, July 30, 2005

France expelling radical imams 
Now they're waking up and smelling the shawarma.

The gulf between British and French treatment of preachers of hatred and violence was thrown sharply into focus yesterday when France announced the summary expulsion of a dozen Islamists between now and the end of August.

A tough new anti-terrorism package was unveiled by Nicolas Sarkozy, the interior minister and a popular centre-Right politician.

Nicolas Sarkozy: 'We have to act against radical preachers'
His proposals reflect French determination to act swiftly against extremists in defiance of the human rights lobby, which is noticeably less vocal in France than in Britain.

Imams and their followers who fuel anti-western feeling among impressionable young French Muslims will be rounded up and returned to their countries of origin, most commonly in France's case to its former north African colonies.

Mr Sarkozy also revealed that as many as 12 French mosques associated with provocative anti-western preaching were under surveillance. Imams indulging in inflammatory rhetoric will be expelled even if their religious status is recognised by mainstream Muslim bodies.

Those who have assumed French citizenship will not be protected from deportation. Mr Sarkozy said he will reactivate measures, "already available in our penal code but simply not used", to strip undesirables of their adopted nationality. "We have to act against radical preachers capable of influencing the youngest and most weak-minded," Mr Sarkozy told the French daily Le Parisien.

Long overdue. But a government response is insufficient. The Muslims of Europe should have expelled their violent imams long ago. The fact that it hasn't - that so many mosque congregations have retained their radical clerics and given them a salary to preach violence and hatred - is a black stain which has been seared - seared - into the Muslim body politic.

And only Muslims can remove it.

Now's the time.

Splash, out


UPDATE: Roger L. Simon has more:

Strip "undersireables" of their citizenship? Can you imagine how our civil liberties organizations would react if one of our major politicians started talking that way? Those "progressocrats" (how's that for a neologism?) react like the proverbial stuck pigs when someone gets a Koran wet. And back in the day I would certainly have sympathized with the ACLU, et al, on this. But we have reached a rather extraordinary pass. The limit of free speech has traditionally been defined as "yelling fire in a crowded theatre." We're light years beyond that now. Who cares what anyone's yelling? They're blowing up people in subways.


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