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Last Updated: Tuesday, 5 October, 2004, 20:26 GMT 21:26 UK
France deports controversial imam
Abdelkader Bouziane
Mr Bouziane has 16 children in France
A Muslim preacher who defended wife-beating has been deported from France.

Abdelkader Bouziane, an imam from Lyon, was arrested near his home and sent to Algeria on Tuesday, a day after a court ruled he could be expelled.

He was originally deported in April, but the decision was overruled and he was allowed to return.

In an interview, Mr Bouziane had endorsed wife-beating, declared he was polygamous, and expressed the wish that "the entire world become Muslim".

The 52-year-old Algerian told a Lyon newspaper earlier this year that violence against unfaithful wives was justified by the Koran.

21 April: Abdelkader Bouziane deported to Algeria
23 and 26 April: Deportation order suspended by two courts
22 May: Returns to France
4 October: Council of State rules deportation legal
5 October: Bouziane flown to Algeria
The government accused him of inciting violence, and used a new directive aimed at stamping out Islamic fundamentalism to have him deported to Algeria.

But a French tribunal ruled the original expulsion illegal because Mr Bouziane had not been charged and was not allowed to defend himself.

He returned to France, where he has 16 children by two wives, all with French nationality.

The government appealed to the Council of State, France's highest administrative court. On Monday it ruled that the cleric could be thrown out of France after all.


He was arrested on Tuesday and put on a flight to Oran, in Algeria.

Mr Bouziane's remarks on wife-beating caused an outcry in France, with many Muslim lawyers condemning them as un-Islamic.

France has admitted imams from other countries to ensure that its 5m Muslim communities have enough prayer leaders.

But the BBC's Caroline Wyatt in Paris says recently the French authorities and moderate Muslims have become worried that some are preaching a strict or fundamentalist form of Islam.

President Jacques Chirac has said he is willing to modify immigration law so France can deport those it fears are stirring up hatred.

Mr Bouziane is the fourth imam this year to be deported from France.

The others were deemed to have either supported terrorism and thus endangered the security of the French state, or preached extreme forms of Islam incompatible with French civil law.

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16 Jul 04  |  Europe
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17 May 04  |  Europe
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20 Apr 04  |  Europe
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18 Apr 03  |  Europe

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