Skepticism over France’s efforts to fight homegrown jihadism

World Today

It’s been a month since 20 were killed in the Paris terror attacks. France launched an online video campaign to try to keep citizens from joining extremist groups. But critics were sceptical it would help to combat homegrown radicals. CCTV’s Olly Barratt reported this story from Paris.

Skepticism over France\'s efforts to fight homegrown jihadism

France launches online videos to prevent citizens from joining jihads.

The Goutted’or area of Paris has a large North African, Muslim population. The customers aren’t exclusively Muslim, and there are signs too of religions living side by side. But that’s not to say there aren’t tensions between communities here following the Paris attacks.

Nader Alemi works with young French Muslims on developing life skills, he believes a lack of integration coupled with a lack of job opportunities create an atmosphere in which radicalisation is more likely.

“According to what young Muslims tell me, they very often find their careers blocked because they are of North African origin, or black, and on top of that they’re Muslim, and that makes them start to have doubts about whether they really belong in France,” Nader Alemi, director of Islamopsy NGO said.

Attempting to tackle the problem of homegrown extremism is not a new issue for France, but the Paris attacks have focused minds and budgets. While Hundreds of thousands took to the streets of Paris to express unity after the attacks. Some believe the extra money coming from government is unlikely to solve the problem of radicalization.

“The government’s campaigns aimed at young people who might be potential jihadists will have very little effect, in my opinion, because for young radicals, anything that comes from the government, or from moderate Muslim authorities, is automatically considered false, so these campaigns can’t influence them.” David Thomson, author of “The French Jihadists” said.

While France works to get on top of the issue of extremism, its security services are extending increased protection to non-Muslims and Muslims alike.