Expulsion of imam Mahjoubi: after threats, the mayor of Bagnols-sur-Cèze wears a warning device “in case of attack”

Expulsion of imam Mahjoubi: after threats, the mayor of Bagnols-sur-Cèze wears a warning device “in case of attack”

Le maire de Bagnols-sur-Cèze, Jean-Yves Chapelet, porte à son poignet droit un bouton d’appel. C.B.

The mayor of Bagnols-sur-Cèze, Jean-Yves Chapelet, was provided with an alert system, after receiving threats following the expulsion of the former imam Mahjoub Mahjoubi .

Many people, when meeting the mayor of Bagnols-sur-Cèze, have noticed it. For almost a month and a half, Jean-Yves Chapelet has been wearing a black watch strap on his right wrist. Discreet about this device, but increasingly questioned on this subject, the mayor of the Gard town from which the former imam Mahjoub Mahjoubi was expelled on February 22, responded to requests from Midi Libre to make "a clarification".

"It's a call button that the police provided me" explains the councilor who until now has not wished to mention this protective measure to which he is subject. “It was proposed to me following direct threats that I received after the expulsion of the former imam“. Mahjoub Mahjoubi, a Tunisian from Bagnols-sur-Cèze, imam of the At-Tawba mosque (1), was arrested on February 22 in Bagnols-sur-Cèze and expelled the same evening to Tunisia on the decision of the Minister of the Interior Gérald Darmanin after anti-republican sermons. An expulsion validated by the Paris Administrative Court and confirmed by the Council of State.

"Many phone calls home"

From the start of the Mahjoubi affair, "I’had threats: letters, emails to my inbox the town hall…" specifies Jean-Yves Chapelet who quickly files a complaint. "My family was indirectly threatened. We received numerous phone calls at home, with hidden numbers, it multiplied. There was no response. Threats against his family that he deplores : " When we are mayor, our wives, our spouses are not not responsible for the management of the commune". The elected official from Bagnolais underlines that "from the beginning, I was listened to, helped, advised by the prefecture, the prosecutor, the DDSP (national directorate of public security), the police…" he likes.

When the threats became more precise, after the expulsion of the ex-imam, "we started said : there, it’got serious…". Territorial intelligence then comes into play and police patrols multiply in the mayor's neighborhood. "Very quickly, I was asked if I wanted to be part of this protection" by wearing a warning device. In the event of a threat or attack, by activating the call button on this black watch bracelet, telephone numbers are alerted. An integrated GPS also allows you to permanently locate the wearer. “I was also given advice on how to foil attacks” appreciates the mayor, who usually travels around his town by bike.

So far the mayor of Bagnols has not pressed his call button at the slightest doubt, “I worked in the nuclear industry, I know what the concept of security is… I have experience, and as mayor, I have tough skin.”

“We must have a line of conduct: the values ​​of the Republic and the law”

If the mayor of Bagnols admits to having “spent sleepless nights” to analyze everything that has happened since the condemned sermons of the former imam of Bagnolais were revealed, “I wanted cunderstand how we got to this situation. I spoke with a lot of people, with different opinions. There is also the question of trust". In any case, he assures, "no one defends the’imam".

And, is he convinced, "on these subjects we must have a line of conduct, I have convictions which do not are not negotiable: the values ​​of the Republic, including secularism, and the law". This is also what he recently said to the new mayor of Pont-Saint-Esprit, Gérome Bouvier, in whose commune the cultural association welcomes minors Muslim at the mosque has just been closed by decision of the prefect. Last November, the reception of minors at the At-Tawba mosque in Bagnols, where the former imam Mahjoubi preached, was also the subject of such a closure.

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