Update: French Imam, Tried in Absentia, Cleared of All Charges

June 21, 2005

Source: Las Vegas Sun

Wire Service: AP


On June 21, 2005 the Associated Press reported, "A Muslim cleric who condoned wife-beating in a widely publicized interview that alarmed the government last year was cleared of criminal charges on Tuesday.

Abdelkader Bouziane, whose comments prompted the government to expel him to his native Algeria, was accused of 'provocation to commit an assault.' He was tried in absentia.

He told Lyon Mag in a 2004 interview that beating an adulterous wife was condoned by the Quran - the Muslim holy book - an interpretation rejected by most Muslims.

A court in the southeastern city of Lyon ruled that Bouziane was explaining his religious beliefs and that his remarks fell outside the competence of law.

'It is not the court's role to intrude in the domain of religious conscience. A reference to a text of the Quran does not constitute a call to commit assault,' said judge Fernand Schir."