'Wife-beating' imam has terror link: de Villepin

27th April 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, April 27 (AFP) - French Interior Minister Dominique de Villepin on Tuesday defended his decision to deport a Muslim cleric who gave an interview endorsing wife-beating by saying the Algerian imam had ties to groups who sought to justify "terrorism".

PARIS, April 27 (AFP) - French Interior Minister Dominique de Villepin on Tuesday defended his decision to deport a Muslim cleric who gave an interview endorsing wife-beating by saying the Algerian imam had ties to groups who sought to justify "terrorism".

Speaking in parliament one day after a tribunal confirmed a ruling that the deportation last week of the imam, Abdelkader Bouziane, was illegal, de Villepin said the cleric "belonged to a movement whose extremist elements justified terrorism."

His ministry has launched an appeal against the tribunal's verdict, saying intelligence reports it had presented on Bouziane were not properly taken into consideration.

Bouziane was flown back to his native Algeria last Wednesday, some three weeks after giving an interview to a local magazine in the city of Lyon in which he said wife-beating was authorised by the Koran, and revealing his polygamy.

The interior ministry said the comments confirmed their decision to deport him, based on an order issued in February on the grounds that the imam threatened public order.

De Villepin said Bouziane had been active in his links with the unidentified groups, and he stressed that the imam had made "unacceptable comments against women".


© AFP

                                                 Subject: French news

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