The rector of the mosque threatened with closure is astonished at an “unjust and unjustified” decision

For Ahmed Guessoum, the rector of the Cannes Al Madina Al Mounawara mosque, the threat of administrative closure announced Wednesday morning by Gerald Darmanin appears to be “unjust and unjustified”. The disputed speeches denounced by the Minister of the Interior, who evokes “in particular anti-Semitic remarks”, would be according to him the fact of his predecessor, Mustapha Dali, he defended Wednesday evening.

“The person who is implicated today is the former rector, who resigned, retired and no longer lives in Cannes” explained the imam, specifying that Mustapha Dali, in post for twenty years, had “no more influence” on the mosque. 20 minutes failed to reach the latter.

“The association [qui gère le lieu de culte] is fully independent. It manages its affairs through an elected office and a CA. So I do not see why this decision is taken because so-and-so, “wondered Ahmed Guessoum, referring to” an old Facebook page on which we do not have control “.

“Everyone to their reading”

“We are closing one of the mosques in Cannes because we blame it for anti-Semitic comments, support for the CCIF (Collective against Islamophobia in France) and BarakaCity”, dissolved at the end of 2020, Gérald Darmanin had indicated on Cnews.

According to the prefecture, which confirmed the launch of “an adversarial procedure […] in order to consider the administrative closure of the mosque for a period of two months ”, the place of worship would thus multiply on social networks“ hate speech against France, its institutions and its laws ”. He would also make “remarks inciting hatred towards homosexuals or transsexuals” and “shows an explicit anti-Semitic hatred”.

“When you consult this Facebook page, you will find a bit of everything,” confirmed the new rector. Before specifying: “When I read, I don’t see xenophobia or anti-Semitism in what he writes. Afterwards, I won’t justify anything, everyone has their reading. “

“The vast majority […] do not share its drift “

Closed for eighteen months because of the health crisis linked to Covid-19, the Al Madina Al Mounawara mosque only reopened in June 2021. “A general assembly was held on August 15” and “there is had an election of a new office, of a new rector ”, also specified Ahmed Guessoum who was appointed. Since then, “we have been trying to clean up the financial and social situations and the management of this mosque as much as possible and we are getting there little by little,” he explained.

“We receive more than 600 people and all the faithful who attend this mosque have only one goal: it is the worship of Allah, the worship of God,” he also added. What the administration accuses us of today, we do not see. “

“We know that the vast majority of Muslims who attend this very old mosque do not share its drift, some had also alerted us. It is therefore up to them to bring out new leaders respectful of the French Republic and the country so that the place of worship can then reopen, as seen with the Minister of the Interior, ”the municipality wrote in a press release.

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