The top administrative court in France sided with the government’s decision that an imam accused of “virulent antisemitic” hate speech should be expelled to Morocco, according to Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin.
Darmanin wrote on Twitter that Hassan Iquioussen “will be expelled from the national territory [in] a great victory for the republic.”
The decision to expel the imam was made by the Council of State, with the interior minister stating that the main reason was “especially virulent antisemitic speech.”
The case went before the high court after Paris judges blocked Iquioussen’s deportation order, France 24 reported.
The 58-year old imam holds French and Moroccan citizenship and speaks to thousands of followers on his Youtube channel and Facebook accounts from his home in northern France.
Last week, a lawyer representing the interior ministry told the Council of State that he “has for years spread insidious ideas that are nothing less than incitement to hatred, to discrimination and to violence.”
They added that his statements “create fertile ground for separatism and even terrorism,” and that he “remains an antisemite,” though his lawyer pointed out that some of the government’s evidence was 20 years old.
Darmanin told the Council that if the panel of judges ruled that Iquioussen could not be expelled, he would seek to change the law.