France has expelled two Islamic radicals and is planning to deport three more as part of a crackdown announced after a gunman killed seven people, officials said Monday.
An Algerian radical and a Malian imam were sent back to their home countries on Monday, while a Saudi imam, a Turkish imam and a Tunisian radical were also subject to expulsion orders, the interior ministry said in a statement.
The statement said that the imams had made anti-Semitic statements in their sermons, called for Muslims to reject Western values, and said women should wear the full-face veil.
It said the Saudi imam was currently out of France but would be refused entry should he try to return.
French police arrested 19 people in a crackdown on suspected Islamist networks in dawn raids on Friday as President Nicolas Sarkozy made the battle against extremism a keynote of his re-election campaign.
Some of the arrests were made in Toulouse, where extremist gunman Mohamed Merah was shot dead by police last month after a series of cold-blooded shootings that left seven dead, including three Jewish children.
Merah, branded a “monster” by French leaders after his killing spree, died in a hail of police bullets after a 32-hour siege on his Toulouse flat.
France last week banned four Muslim preachers from entering the country for a conference of the Union of Islamic Organizations in France (UOIF), citing their “calls for hatred and violence”.