The French government has announced plans to isolate militant Islamist prisoners in dedicated detention centres, partly in response to the demands of prison guards, and to also tighten the granting of licenses for private, religion-orientated schools.
Following the 2015 terrorist attacks in France, probation officers in the prison system have been instructed to inform the authorities about the “radicalisation” of prisoners. When one officer criticised the new system in a newspaper interview, claiming that being forced to work as “intelligence agents” undermined the trust between probation workers officers and prisoners, her job was threatened. Probation officers also fear that they will get the blame for not flagging a problem if former prisoners go on to commit terrorist acts. Maxime Grimbert reports.
The mosques, including one raided on Wednesday when police said a firearm was found, are the first to by closed for reasons of 'radicalisation'.
Islam is the second religion in France yet Muslims often feel discriminated against and misunderstood. And because the French state outlaws the gathering of data on religious or ethnic grounds it is difficult to know exactly how Muslims view their faith, how many are being radicalised – or even how many Muslims there are in the country. Here Mediapart publishes the results of a major new study attempting to overcome this lack of data. It confirms that a small proportion of Muslim youths are being radicalised. But it also shows how the way in which they are depicted in society has led to an increased religious sentiment among Muslims anxious to assert their identity. Carine Fouteau reports.