Skip to main content

French PM suggests interim ban on foreign funding of mosques

Manuel Valls says France needs a 'new relationship with Islam' after a string of attacks claimed by the Islamic State group
Manuel Valls called for imams to be "trained in France, not elsewhere" (AFP)

France's prime minister has suggested a temporary ban on foreign financing for mosques and a "new relationship with Islam in France," after a spate of attacks in the country claimed by the Islamic State group.

Manuel Valls told Le Monde: "We need to reset and invent a new relationship with Islam in France," and called for imams to be "trained in France, not elsewhere".

He added he was "open to the idea that - for a period yet to be determined - there should be no financing from abroad for the construction of mosques".

Valls and Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve have come under fire for perceived security failings that have failed to prevent three major terror attacks in France in 18 months.

The latest happened at a church in Rouen, where an elderly priest was killed by two men claiming allegiance to the Islamic State group.

The fact that one of the church attackers, 19-year-old Adel Kermiche, was awaiting trial on terror charges and had been fitted with an electronic tag meant judges needed to take a "different, case-by-case, approach," Valls said.

However, the prime minister stressed that the judges in this individual case should not be held responsible for this "act of terrorism".

The Islamic State group's affiliated news agency, Amaq, late on Thursday released a video purportedly showing one of the two men who attacked a church in northern France this week urging all Muslims to destroy the country.

In the video, Abdel-Malik Nabir Petitjean, formally identified as one of the men who killed a priest in the attack before being shot dead by police, addresses President Francois Hollande and Valls directly.

"The times have changed. You will suffer what our brothers and sisters are suffering. We are going to destroy your country," the man Amaq alleges is Petitjean says in the recording.

Middle East Eye delivers independent and unrivalled coverage and analysis of the Middle East, North Africa and beyond. To learn more about republishing this content and the associated fees, please fill out this form. More about MEE can be found here.