French Court Suspends Deportation of Moroccan Imam Accused of Promoting Antisemitism and Sexism

Imam Hassan Iquioussen.

August 8, 2022

An administrative court in Paris on Friday suspended the deportation of a Moroccan imam who has been accused by the French government of posing a threat to society by promoting antisemitism and sexism, Radio France Internationale reported.

In July, French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin issued an expulsion order to Imam Hassan Iquioussen, 58, for inciting hate, discrimination, and violence, notably against the Jewish community, in public speeches he gave between 2003 and 2019.

“This man has no place on our national soil,” Darmanin said of Iquioussen.

In its ruling on Friday, the Paris court instructed the interior minister to reexamine Iquioussen’s case within three months and return his residency permit. Although he was born in France and lives with his family in the country, Iquioussen does not hold French citizenship.

The court said Iquioussen’s deportation to Morocco would represent “disproportionate attack” on his private life and family, violating the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.

Following the ruling, Darmanin said the court’s decision would be appealed to France’s Conseil d’Etat, and he vowed to continue to “fight against those who make and disseminate comments of an antisemitic nature and contrary to equality between men and women.”

Iquioussen — who has tens of thousands of followers on social media — has called Jews “misers” and “usurers,” and accused the Zionist movement of colluding with Nazi leader Adolf Hitler before World War II to force Germany’s Jews to leave the country.