Paris, 2 September 2022
Mr. Minister of the Interior, Gerald Darmanin,
You will recall our conversation at the CRIF dinner, where we congratulated you for your action in closing those mosques used by extremist Imams to spew antisemitism and tarnish the values of the Republic.
Now, backed by the final decision of the Council of State, you have decided to expel a master of hate, Imam Hassan Iquioussen.
Mr. Minister, we applauded the expulsion decision, rather than a short term incarceration in a prison from where he would have continued his daily regurgitation online or among other detainees.
Nevertheless, now he is on the run, he can continue his hatemongering from any other country.
If hiding, whether in France or abroad, his capture is imperative before he performs other – even more serious – crimes. An international INTERPOL mandate should be issued as soon as possible.
As the Imam has a Moroccan citizenship, the expulsion should have been to Morocco. If that is his destination, we will urge your counterpart in Rabat, Minister Abdelouafi Laftit, to jail Iquioussen and withhold him from any possible access to social media.
On the part of Morocco, taking measures against antisemitism and their agents would be an important gesture in the spirit of the Abraham Accords.
Mr. Minister, it is probable that Iquioussen’s footprint among the pile of Jew-hatred be found in the home of Tunisian-born Mohamed Dridi, the self-admitted murderer of his Jewish neighbour, 44-year-old Eliahou (Eyal) Haddad.
This is one more murder “for being a Jew” in the litany of Sarah Halimi and Mireille Knoll. There must be no judicial decision this time that exonerates Dridi on the basis of some psychiatric condition or the influence of narcotics.
The only reason for this murder is the spread of hate by Imams and ideologues who preach Jihad or Shahada martyrdom for “killing a Jew.”
The Judiciary must apply a harsher penalty, “aggravated” by the antisemitic incitement factor.
Dr Shimon Samuels
Director for International Relations
Simon Wiesenthal Centre