France teacher attack: Mosque ordered to close over Facebook videos
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France teacher attack: Mosque ordered to close over Facebook videos

The Pantin mosque, just north of Paris, will close for six months on Wednesday.

It posted videos on Facebook before Mr Paty was killed that called for action and revealed his school's address.

The mosque has expressed "regret" over the videos.

After the teacher's death it deleted the clips and condemned the killing,

The brutal killing of Mr Paty, 47, has shocked France. Tens of thousands of people took part in rallies across the country on Sunday to honour him and defend freedom of speech.

"This mosque will be closed [and] the prefect of Seine-Saint-Denis will sign the ban this evening," Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin told the French television station TF1 on Monday.

He said the Pantin mosque, which has more than 1,500 worshippers and is situated in a busy suburb, shared the videos on its Facebook page just days before Mr Paty's death on Friday.

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French authorities have begun a crackdown on suspected radicals, and Mr Darmanin earlier said there would "not be a minute's respite for enemies of the Republic".

"We must fight political Islam with the same determination as we fight terrorism," he told Europe 1 radio on Monday.

In the wake of the killing, the government sharply criticised social media platforms and called for action to curb the spread of hate and radicalism online.

"Things began on social media and they ended on social media," Gabriel Attal, a government spokesman, said. "We have to do better at bringing them under control."

Marlène Schiappa, France's junior interior minister, met police chiefs on Monday to discuss the spread of radical material online. On Tuesday, she will meet the heads of social media networks in France to discuss so called "cyber-Islamism".

Police launched a series of raids targeting Islamist networks on Monday, and some 40 homes were targeted. More raids are expected this week.

Mr Darmanin said 51 French Muslim organisations, including charities and NGOs, would be inspected by government officials and closed down if they were found to be promoting hatred.

So far, a total of 15 people have been taken into custody in the aftermath of the murder.

The killer's grandfather, parents and 17-year-old brother were detained shortly after the gruesome attack. Four school students have been detained as well.

The father of a pupil who reportedly launched an online campaign against Mr Paty and a preacher described by French media as a radical Islamist are also among those arrested. Mr Darmanin accused the two men of having issued a "fatwa" against the teacher.

The interior minister also said police would be interviewing about 80 people who were believed to have posted messages in support of the killing.

 

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