Influential Islamist preacher of Jew-hatred on the run after France issues arrest warrant

Hassan Iquioussen, 58, reaches tens of thousands of subscribers via YouTube and Facebook accounts from his home in northern France.

By Adina Katz, World Israel News

Authorities in France are on the hunt for Hassan Iquioussen, a Moroccan imam who preaches vile Jew-hatred and has tens of thousands of followers through Youtube and Facebook, according to several news agencies and sites.

Iquioussen, 58, has apparently escaped after a French judge in the country’s highest administrative court issued a deportation order last week. Police suspect the imam, who was born in France and holds Moroccan citizenship, has fled to Belgium.

French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin had requested the order due to Iquioussen’s “especially virulent anti-Semitic speech” and sermons calling for women’s “submission” to men, the Jewish Chronicle noted.

According to the JC, judges initially blocked the expulsion in agreement with the imam’s lawyers, who argued that it would result in “disproportionate harm” to his “private and family life.” But the Council of State overturned the decision due to his incitement to hatred and violence.

Iquioussen’s “proselytising speech is interspersed with remarks inciting hatred and discrimination and carries a vision of Islam contrary to the values of the Republic,” the Council stated.

The imam’s lawyer, Lucie Simon, argued that some of his inciteful statements dated back more than two decades. “Yes, Mr Iquioussen is a conservative. He has made retrograde statements on women’s place in society, but that does not constitute a serious threat to public order,” she said.

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The interior ministry’s legal representative disagreed, the report continues, insisting that Iquioussen “remains an antisemite” and that his messages “create fertile ground for separatism and even terrorism.”

“Imam Hassan Iquioussen will finally be deported after State Council decision,” right-wing politician Marine Le Pen stated upon announcement of the deportation. “It is unfortunate that the expulsion of an Islamist who has been preaching hate for so many years in France is so complicated, so rare and so late. The staggering deportation procedure demonstrates how weak the state is to protect the French.”

She also called on the government to “investigate and take urgent action against mosques who supported and received this individual.”