Paris prosecutor Francois Molins expects that about 700 Muslims from France are fighting for jihad groups in Iraq and Syria, and “at one moment or another we will face the return of a large number of French fighters and their families.”
Given this menacing reality, Molins has announced longer prison terms for returning jihadis, of up to 30 years behind bars, instead of the usual 10-year maximum.
So let’s take a look at what’s happening on the jihadist-in-jail front in France: it’s reassuring to know that French prisons are separating inmates by religion in order to prevent radicalization from spreading, as psychological disturbance is said to be high in jail, making inmates more vulnerable to radicalization as a form of rebellion.
In French jails, jihadists are also enrolled in deradicalization programs, which are of dubious effectiveness, as Jihad Watch recently noted here. What’s more, French sociologist Farhad Khosrokhavar states that the effectiveness of some promising deradicalization programs can be compromised due to the laicite: religion is deemed private and the government should not get involved with it. But Khosrokhavar rightly indicates, “it is a matter of ideology when it comes to religion and jihad.”
Let’s hope that prosecutor Francois Molin’s much longer sentences, combined with separating jihadists from other inmates in jail and the recognition of a connection between religion and jihad, will at least have some positive impact on public safety.
“French Prosecutor Announces Longer Terrorism Sentences”, ABC News, September 2, 2016:
Francois Molins, whose office is in charge of terrorism investigations, told Le Monde newspaper on Friday that around 700 people from France are fighting for extremist groups in Iraq and Syria and “at one moment or another we will face the return of a large number of French fighters and their families.” He said his office will hand down more severe criminal charges, with possible sentences up to 30 years, in cases that might previously have drawn maximum sentences of 10 years…..