Program to De-Radicalize Islamic Extremists Deemed A Fiasco

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Homegrown Islamic extremists have become a terrifying problem for French officials who tried to de-radicalize thousands of Muslims after an onslaught of attacks. Since January 2015, 238 people in France have been murdered by Muslims on Jihad.

A new parliamentary report denounced efforts made by the administration of President François Hollande to reverse homegrown radicalization, calling it “a total fiasco.”

The plan was to have “deradicalization facilities” offering group activities and workshops where Islamist extremists could go through a year-long program to reform them into society with “democratic and humanitarian values.”

The report revealed that there is currently only one fully-staffed de-radicalization center in operation, costing the government €2.5 million annually, but it’s empty. A dozen other centers are stuck in the planning stage.

The report accused the French government of funding “pseudo-experts” with millions of euros for no results.

It also turns out that local organizations which should help families deal with the problem are simply taking the money and doing little else. “One supposedly groundbreaking programme to bring back radicalised inmates to the French Republican fold had to be scrapped after a prisoner duped the authorities into believing that he had reformed before seeking to murder guards,” according to the report.

French politicians are calling for a “total rethink,” with nationalist presidential candidate Marine Le Pen validating calls for the detention and deportation of Islamists.

The Socialist government estimates that 15,000 people in France are following radical Islam, and another 680, including approximately 275 women, are believed to have joined jihadist movements in Iraq and Syria. The biggest fear is that those radicalized Islamists who have been fighting in the Middle East will come back to France and continue their violent tactics on innocent citizens.

Experts have said that Mr. Hollande is probably planning to target Islamists in bombing raids or see them detained in the Middle East because he has ordered his military chiefs “to take as few as possible French Isil fighters prisoner,” according to the article.

Hollande’s program was designed to identify radicalized Muslims and somehow change their warped values. However, those senators who wrote the report surmised that de-radicalization is not realistic or possible.

“We just have to admit that the most violent and dangerous people will not be [deradicalised],” said centre-right Republican Catherine Troendlé, a co-author of the report.

Esther Benbassa, of the left-wing Ecology party, added to her colleague’s comment, noting, “Deradicalisation does not exist. They thought they could take someone and wash their brains. In fact, brainwashing doesn’t really work and it’s a dangerous myth. It’s understandable that the government wanted to reassure society after the terror attacks. But it started with a false premise.”

Without any idea of how to proceed, Troendié said that the situation can only be managed by widespread cooperation. “This requires a whole network of social workers, educators, community police officers, imams and business leaders,” she said. “There will be no miracle.”

H/T: The Telegraph

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