France expels mosque leader

France has expelled the Turkish-born prayer leader of a Paris mosque after the Interior Ministry accused him of heading a group advocating terrorism.

    The Muslim community in France is five-million strong

    Midhat Guler, who was placed under house arrest last week, was put on a plane to Turkey on Thursday.

    "This expulsion is due to the threat the person concerned poses to public order," an Interior Ministry statement said.

    "Mr Guler is in effect in charge in France of an extremist Islamic Turkish movement that advocates resorting to violence and terrorism known as 'Kaplan'," it said.

    France, whose five-million-strong Muslim community is Europe's largest, has about 1500 Islamic prayer leaders. Most are poorly trained and many speak only Arabic.

    Promoting compatibility

    The French government has stepped up efforts to promote imam training centres so that prayer leaders preach an Islam compatible with a modern Western democracy.

    Last month, the government experienced an embarrassing setback when a court ruled as illegal its decision to expel an imam from the southeastern city of Lyon after he justified wife-beating in a magazine article.

    Abd al-Kadir Buzian, who holds French nationality, was expelled to his native country of Algeria on 21 April and had his French resident's permit confiscated.

    But on Monday, he said he had been given a visa allowing him to return to France.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Explore how your country voted on global issues since 1946, as the world gears up for the 74th UN General Assembly.

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    We dialled more than 35,000 random phone numbers to paint an accurate picture of displacement across South Sudan.

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.