The Al Farouk Mosque in Pessac district was closed for 6 months as mosque authorities faced several allegations, including giving sermons "calling for non-compliance with French laws".

France has been criticised for targeting and marginalising Muslims.
France has been criticised for targeting and marginalising Muslims. (AP)

France has shut down a mosque for a six-month period amid an ongoing drive against Muslims and their places of worship.

The Al Farouk Mosque in Pessac district near the city of Bordeaux was closed for allegedly defending "radical Islam" and “spreading Salafist ideology,” the Gironde governorate said in a statement on Monday.

The statement accused mosque authorities of giving sermons calling for non-compliance with French laws and legitimising terrorist attacks.

It also accused them of spreading messages containing hate against Israel as well as supporting terrorist organisations or people who defend "radical Islam."

In August, France’s highest constitutional authority approved a controversial “anti-separatism” law that has been criticised for singling out Muslims, striking down just two of its articles.

France has been criticised by international organisations and NGOs, especially the UN, for targeting and marginalising Muslims with the law.

READ MORE: Anti-Muslim policies in France reach ‘threshold of persecution’

'Marginalising Muslims'

The “anti-separatism” bill was passed by the National Assembly in July, despite strong opposition from both rightist and leftist lawmakers.

The government claims that the law is intended to strengthen France's secular system, but critics believe that it restricts religious freedom and marginalises Muslims.

The law has been criticised for targeting France's Muslim community – the largest in Europe, with 3.35 million members – and imposing restrictions on many aspects of their lives.

It allows officials to intervene in mosques and associations responsible for their administration as well as control the finances of Muslim-affiliated associations and non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

It also restricts the educational choices of Muslims by making homeschooling subject to official permission.

Under the law, patients are prohibited from choosing their doctors based on gender for religious or other reasons and "secularism education" has been made compulsory for all civil servants.

READ MORE: French top court sets precedent banning Muslim lawyers wearing the hijab

Source: AA