France’s Homegrown Jihadists
This article starts with the heart breaking stories of the families of the “home grown jihadists”. Their inability to comprehend their children’s actions has lead to emotional turmoil. France is seeing an increase in its younger citizens leaving to fight in Syria. Some of these citizens are converts from prison but Sylvie Kaufmann notes that Social media has its role to play as well. It is clear that since this “jihadist” trend exists that it must have something to offer. I believe our western media is far too quick to condemn the conversions of these people. I do not condone violence is anyway but, religion is an incredibly strong emotional force for people. Something must be driving these men and women to risk their lives in the name of Islam. Some may say it is brain washing but how can you differentiate a brainwashed follower from a true believer? This article takes only one viewpoint on these conversions and the struggle in Syria. I cannot claim to know exactly what the strife of the Syrians or the Muslim people in that region is, but I would hope that a free press would be prepared to investigate the personal reasons for conversion. The article ends with the words of the French P.M (formerly the interior minister), saying “that jihadism is “the greatest danger we will have to face in the next few years.” It is unclear why, having not referenced any jihadist attacks within France, the P.M would call conversion and fight for Islam in other states the “greatest danger”. Do I think that extremists of any sort can be a threat? Yes but is there any reason to believe that if these citizens are leaving France to fight that they pose a threat to France itself? That is to be seen. I would like to see a fair treatment of Islamic view in western media as opposed to the traditional “jihadist” labeling (this case includes jihadism I know).