France to offer courses to prevent radicalisation

Paris, Sep 9 (IANS/EFE) The Tribunal of Mulhouse in France has decided to offer courses to prevent the radicalisation of people charged with Islamic fundamentalism, thereby stopping terrorist acts, Le Parisien paper revealed on Wednesday.

This initiative taken by the prosecution of Colmar, north-east France, was supported by the justice ministry, and could be extended to the whole country if it is effective.

The de-radicalisation courses, starting this month, will not have any religious dimensions, and Muslim imams or clergymen will not be included.

The courses will last for a period ranging from two to three months according to each case.

Jean-Francois Thony, attorney general of Colmar, said that the religious aspect is not central to the phenomenon of radicalisation, especially among young people, but the “process of sectarianism” dominates these cases.

The attorney general said that the crux of the problem is not the faith itself, but rather the lack of references, while the gap is filled with new values of radical Islam.

The programme includes four stages starting with the diagnosis of the social, family and psychological conditions through holding individual interviews.

Then the programme aims to distance people from the influence of radical groups and restore other social ties, such as family activities.

To get rid of radical discourse, there will be meetings with the victims of terrorism or people who have left extremist organisations, in addition to holding workshops to explain the methods used by extremists to convince young people, especially in social networks.

Judges may use these courses at any stage of the legal proceedings of juveniles as an educational measure.

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