The French Interior Ministry said it will carry out checks on 76 mosques and prayer halls and has threatened to close those that are found to be promoting ‘separatism.”

The tough new move was provoked by recent Islamist attacks, including the beheading of teacher Samuel Paty close to a school in the Paris suburbs and the killing of three people in a church in Nice.

Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin said that immediate action is planned against 18 of the mosques, and said the government’s move was “a massive and unprecedented action to combat separatism.” He added that the 76 are just a fraction of the 2,600 Muslim places of worship in the country.

The inspections will concentrate on financing, the teaching of young students and the political connections of Imans.

FILE PHOTO: Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin Reuters