PARIS: France’s highest administrative court ruled on Tuesday that a France-born Moroccan imam whom the government had accused of promoting hate could be deported, a court ruling showed.

That decision overturned a previous ruling by a Paris court suspending a deportation order against Hassan Iquioussen in July for “inciting hate, discrimination and violence”, notably against the Jewish community and women.

The Conseil d’Etat, which acts as the supreme court for administrative justice, found, contrary to the first ruling, that his deportation to Morocco would not be a disproportionate interference with his right to lead a normal private and family life. Iquioussen, 58, was born in France and his immediate family lives there, though he does not have French nationality.

Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin took to Twitter following the ruling, calling it “a big victory for the Republic. He will be deported from national soil.”

Iquioussen’s lawyer Lucie Simon also reacted to the decision on Twitter, saying the legal battle was not over and that her client was still considering going to the European Court of Human Rights. “Discriminations are not fought by creating new ones,” she wrote.

During a lengthy hearing last week, Simon said her client was conservative and made backward and regrettable comments, but that it didn’t make him a threat to public order.

Published in Dawn, August 31st, 2022

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