French court suspends deportation order for Muslim cleric who advocated wife-beating

LYON, France (AP) A French court on Friday temporarily suspended a deportation order that has already led to the expulsion of a Muslim cleric who advocated wife-beating and stoning women.

The suspension was to remain in effect until a hearing on case, expected in a few weeks. The cleric, Abdelkader Bouziane, was deported to Algeria on Wednesday, and it was unclear what effect the ruling of the administrative court in Lyon might have.

Bouziane, 52, preaches at a mosque in the Lyon suburb of Venissieux. He was quoted in the April edition of Lyon Mag as saying a man could beat his wife “under certain conditions, notably if the woman cheats on her husband.”

He was quoted as saying the Quran, the Muslim holy book, authorizes such punishment an interpretation rejected by many Muslims.

He also said he was in favor of stoning women for offenses.

The comments drew condemnation from French officials and Muslim leaders and prompted Interior Minister Dominique de Villepin to order Bouziane’s immediate expulsion.

The imam was first put on an expulsion list Feb. 26 for disturbing public order, but official said they decided to speed up his case after the remarks were published.

Villepin on Friday said he would give the Lyon court additional information to justify Bouziane’s expulsion.

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