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article imageTicking Bomb: Muslims in French Prisons, Blacks in US Jails

By Carol Forsloff     Jan 31, 2009 in World
While in the United States African Americans tend to be disproportional in the prisons, in France it is the Muslims. Between 60 to 70 percent of all prisoners in France are Muslim.
The information is validated by researchers, sociologists and Muslim leaders. This is in spite of the fact that they only total 12% of the country’s population.
As of 2005 10% of African American males were in prison. At the same time it was determined that out of all African American males born in 1961 32% will end up in prison.
For both of these population groups these percentages are alarming. It is particularly a problem in France because the percentage of inmates there is twice what it is expected to be for African Americans within the next two decades and six times what it is now.
On Friday, the Brookings Institute underlined the seriousness of the French problem to the welfare of the country in relationship to some of its youth. Brookings maintains increasing hostility of a new generation that is not well integrated into public institutions could prove a problem for the community. It also reviews earlier findings that French Muslims at 90% condemned the attacks on the World Trade Towers and 70% supported France’s involvement in an eventual military response. That shows that there is a principal core of Muslims against extremism but a serious concern about the growing numbers of disaffected youth ending up in prison and the eventual consequences of it to their families and to the community, and possibly the world.
When the rates of recidivism are considered to be high, and prison doors revolve the consequence of large numbers of men in particular racial and cultural groups in prison has considerable influence in the social structure of families and the demographics of communities.
'While sociologists blame the high rate of Muslims in the French prisons on the poor integration of them into French culture, the French declare that the problem is due to the poverty of those from the Middle East. If that is true how would one explain the following figures that are in other European countries?
“In Britain, 11 percent of prisoners are Muslim in contrast to about 3 percent of all inhabitants, according to the Justice Ministry. Research by the Open Society Institute, an advocacy organization, shows that in the Netherlands 20 percent of adult prisoners and 26 percent of all juvenile offenders are Muslim; the country is about 5.5 percent Muslim. In Belgium, Muslims from Morocco and Turkey make up at least 16 percent of the prison population, compared with 2 percent of the general populace.”
The problem of depression and serious social consequences developing from the high rate of Muslims in prison has been documented for a number of years. In 2005 it was reported that this is a serious issue because the prisons are becoming a breeding ground for terrorists.
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