Hani Ramadan, the controversial former director of the Geneva Islamic Centre was expelled from France on Saturday for posing a serious threat to public order. He is now in Switzerland.
“Mr. Hani Ramadan is known to have in the past adopted a stance and made remarks that could pose a serious threat to public order on French soil,” said a statement from the French interior ministry on Saturday.
Orders banning his presence in France were issued on Friday and he was apprehended the same day in the town of Colmar, near the German border, where he was participating in a conference. He was then escorted by police to the French-Swiss border.
“The interior ministry and the security forces are prepared and will continue to fight relentlessly against extremism and radicalisation,” said a statement from French interior minister Matthias Fekl.
On Sunday, Ramadan said he would appeal against the decision to expel him from France and called the French government's statements erroneous and based on a narrow interpretation of his real views.
In recent months, several of Ramadan’s lectures had to be cancelled in France. He is the brother of well-known scholar Tariq Ramadan, a polarizing figure himself, and the grandson of the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood Hasan al Banna.
In 2002, the canton of Geneva had suspended Ramadan from his post as a school teacher for his extremist views. He had written an article for the French newspaper, "Le Monde", in which he defended death by stoning for adultery. He has also served as the director of the Geneva Islamic Centre.
swissinfo.ch and agencies