France disbands Islamist Group in wake of teacher murder case

The association was named after Palestinian imam and politician Ahmad Yassin

Paris: The government of France has ordered the dissolution of the Sheikh Yassin Islamist association, whose founder, Abdelhakim Sefrioui, is currently in custody as a suspect in the case of the brutal killing of a history teacher in Paris, French government spokesman Gabriel Attal said on Wednesday.

The association was named after Palestinian imam and politician Ahmad Yassin, a co-founder and spiritual leader of the Hamas movement, which is designated a terrorist organization by the United States, Israel and several other countries. Sefrioui is being probed over charges of incitement of religiously-motivated violence against the murdered teacher.

This morning we declared the dissolution of the Sheikh Yassin group,” Attal said at a press briefing after a cabinet meeting.

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The spokesman slammed radical groups like the banned one as “Trojan horses of radical Islam” in France.

Last week, history teacher Samuel Paty was beheaded by an 18-year-old teenager on the outskirts of Paris after he showed cartoons depicting the prophet Muhammad during a lesson. This apparently prompted outrage among some Muslim parents. The killer, a French citizen of Chechen descent, was subsequently shot dead by police. An inquiry is still underway, with Sefrioui and six other suspects being probed on various related charges.

Shutting down groups spreading ideas linked to radical Islam is part of an urgent effort declared by French President Emmanuel Macron to fight the spread of religious radicalism in France.

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