France: jihadists mostly from middle class atheist families

Contrary to stereotypes, only 10% of immigrant origins

18 November, 18:36

    Isis' fighters Isis' fighters

    (ANSAmed) - PARIS - The average would-be French jihadist is between 15 and 21 and is from a middle class, atheist family, reports the Centre de Prévention contre les Dérives Sectaires Liées à l'Islam (CPDSI). This is the typical profile of youths leaving to fight with Islamist groups in Syria and Iraq and contrasts greatly with the most widespread stereotypes. The survey was conducted on over 160 families. Researcher, anthropologist and CPDSI founder Dounia Bouzar said that the youths were ''ordinary'' and that 67% of them are from the middle class. Only 16% are from the working class and 17% from wealthy families. A tiny 5% of them have committed any sort of petty crime.

    Most are ''hyper-sensitive'' individuals that have suffered lengthy bouts of depression and ''question the meaning of life''. Would-be jihadists who convert to radical Islam do not grow up in practicing Muslim families: some 80% of them are from families that consider themselves ''atheists'', and only 10% have immigrant parents. Most (91%) of recruitment is online or through social media networks. (ANSAmed).

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