Tunisian Imam Expelled By France


Tunisian imam expelled by France

A Tunisian imam expelled from France on Friday, he would take legal action in a bid to overturn the decision

Soliman, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 23rd Feb, 2024) A Tunisian imam expelled from France on Friday, he would take legal action in a bid to overturn the decision.

Mahjoub Mahjoubi, from the town of Bagnols-sur-Ceze in the south of France, denounced his removal as "arbitrary".

The 52-year-old was arrested and then deported to Tunisia on Thursday, where he arrived shortly before midnight aboard a flight from Paris.

Mahjoubi had been in France since the 1980s and is married with five children.

All of his family are French citizens, but he is not and had his residency permit cancelled on Sunday by French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin.

Mahjoubi defending himself, saying it had been a "slip of the tongue" and that he was referring to rivalries between football supporters of different Maghrebi nations during the recent African Cup of Nations.

"I will fight to return to France where I have lived for 40 years," the imam told AFP in his in-laws' house in Soliman, 30 kilometres (19 miles) east of Tunis.

Mahjoubi, who runs a construction company, said his family, including his youngest child who is in hospital for cancer treatment, depended entirely on him.

"My lawyer is going to take legal action in France if the court does not grant me justice, I will appeal, and then I will appeal to the European Court" of Human Rights, he added.

"I did not insult the Jewish community, nor the flag of France," he said.

On Thursday, Darmanin posted on social media that the expulsion was a "demonstration" that a recently approved immigration law "makes France stronger".

The law toughening migration conditions was seen as part of the government's response to the rise of the far-right in French opinion polls.

Mahjoubi denounced the expulsion as being based on "an arbitrary decision", and said Darmanin was using his case to "create a buzz around the immigration law".