Foreign Islamic preachers will be obliged to take an officially recognised diploma before being allowed to work in France, under measures being considered by the French government.

The new rules, if adopted, would affect more than 70% of imams and Muslim community leaders in France and are aimed at combating the spread of Islamist extremism and the radicalisation of young people.

The report comes as France investigates two men, Michaël Dos Santos and Maxime Hauchard, believed to be involved in the beheadings of 18 Syrian soldiers and the US aid worker Peter Kassig in Syria.

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