Muslim Population Increasing in Prisons, Neglect of Prisoners Leads to Radicalization

December 19, 2004

Source: Houston Chroncile/The New York Times

On December 19, 2004 The New York Times reported, "In less than a decade, there has been a radical shift in France's prison population, a shift that officials and experts say poses a monumental challenge. Despite making up only 10 percent of the population, Muslims account for most of the country's inmates and a growing percentage of the prison populations in many other European countries, an indication of their place at the bottom of the continent's hierarchy. With radical strains of Islam percolating throughout Europe, authorities are unsure how to address the spiritual needs of the prisoners while guarding against the potentially toxic mix of extremist ideology and a criminal past. The result is often neglect, which officials say can be a still greater force for radicalization."