The Collectif contre l’Islamophobie en France draws our attention to an exposé by the online investigative journal Mediapart of a 14-page Powerpoint presentation circulated to school heads by the Poitiers educational authority, on the subject of preventing radicalisation among students. It has been produced as part of the “national plan to combat radicalisation” announced by interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve earlier this year.
Mediapart points out that the only form of “radicalisation” addressed in the presentation concerns Muslim students. Apparently Christian and Jewish students are immune to extremist ideology. As for the problem of far-right influence among students, that doesn’t rate a mention as far as the Poitiers educational authority is concerned.
The advice offered to heads to assist them in spotting signs of “radicalisation” among their Muslim students is beyond stupid. These include growing a beard without a moustache, wearing “Muslim clothing” and losing weight due to fasting. Another telltale sign of extremism is a tendency to engage in “political rhetoric” that refers to injustices in Palestine, Chechnya, Iraq, Syria or Egypt.
The CCIF has called for an end to this “stigmatisation of Muslims”. They argue that if any such project is launched in any institution it should be done in consultation with teaching unions, parents, students and religious representatives. The CCIF concludes:
“The struggle against radicalisation must be an overall struggle including all religious, ideological or political dogmas. This is why our institutions would well advised to take into account the radicalisation of French youth who join violent far-right groups that attack Muslim women. But also the French youth who join the ranks of paramilitary groups such as Jewish Defence League or foreign armies who commit abuses against civilians such as that of Israel.”