French PM considers ban on foreign-funded mosques

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Source: The Guardian

By Agence France-Presse in Paris

France’s prime minister has said he would consider a temporary ban on the foreign financing of mosques, urging a “new model” for relations with Islam after a spate of jihadi attacks.

Manuel Valls, under fire for perceived security lapses around the attacks, also admitted to a failure by the authorities after it was revealed that one of the jihadis who stormed a church and killed a priest on Tuesday had been released with an electronic tag pending trial.

In an interview with French newspaper Le Monde, Valls said 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”.

The prime minister also called for imams to be “trained in France, not elsewhere”.

He said the interior minister, Bernard Cazeneuve, whose portfolio also includes religious affairs, was working on building a new model for France’s relations with Islam.

Both Valls and Cazeneuve have faced calls to resign after the second jihadi attack in less than a fortnight raised questions over France’s vigilance and preparedness.

The government has faced tough questions since it emerged that both church attackers had been on the radar of intelligence services and had tried to go to Syria.

Sparking particular anger was the revelation that one of the assailants, 19-year-old Adel Kermiche, had been released from prison while awaiting trial on terror charges after his second attempt to travel to Syria.

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