French PM Says 'Open' to Banning Foreign Funding of Mosques

Manuel Valls says it was a failure that one of the assailants who killed a priest this week had been released while awaiting trial.

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls arrives at the Elysee Palace in Paris on July 27, 2016 for a meeting with French president following the attack at a church in Saint-Etienne-Du-Rouveray.
Bertrand Guay, AFP

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said on Friday that he's "open" to a temporary ban on the foreign funding of mosques.

In an interview with Le Monde following the string of attacks that recently struck France, Valls noted that "I'm open to the idea of prohibiting foreign funding of mosques, for a time period that still needs to be determined."

Valls and his government have come under criticism after the most recent attack in France, in which two attackers slit the throat of a priest celebrating Mass in church, killing him and gravely injuring one of the few worshippers present before being shot to death by police.

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack, the first inside a church in the West. One of the assailants was known to police and wore an electronic bracelet to monitor his movements.

Valls told the French paper that it was a "failure" that the assailant known to authorities had been released while awaiting trial. He said that France was "at war," adding that “this war, which does not only concern France, will be long and we will see more attacks.”

Earlier this month, French President Francois Hollande extended the state of emergency imposed since a previous attack on Paris last November.