Expert: Islam, Not Social Factors, Driving Radicalisation in France

AP Photo/Edlib News Network ENN

Sociologist Olivier Galland has slammed many of his fellow academics for having a myopic view of radicalisation in France, saying that the effect of Islam is more important than social factors like poverty.

After the Bataclan attacks in 2015, Galland launched a survey of high school pupils on the subject of radicalism and found that Muslim students, in particular, were the most tolerant of violence committed in the name of religion Libération reports.

The results of the study, which were published earlier this week, showed that Muslim pupils were often much more illiberal than their non-Muslim counterparts and Galland has claimed that it is the effect of the religion of Islam, rather than simply social factors that drive radicalisation among them.

“We find a divergence and the existence of a cultural divide between young Muslims and their comrades. For them, religion dominates the secular world: this is what we have called ‘religious absolutism’,” Galland said.

“This conception of religion is linked to cultural anti-liberalism, which we measured with several questions, including one on homosexuality: more young Muslims than others do not see it as a normal way of living one’s sexuality,” he added, but stressed: “This does not mean, of course, that all are ultra-radical or that they are potential terrorists.”

According to Galland, the migrant-heavy suburbs of Paris contained the largest amounts of radicalism.

“In some institutions, the proportion of ‘absolutists’ rises to more than 40 per cent. There is also a ‘segregation’ effect: when the rate of Muslim students is very high in a high school, they are more radical than elsewhere. But everywhere, Muslim students are more religiously radical than others,” he said.

Galland also added that only 8 per cent of Christians in the survey advocated any form of religious violence, while the number of Muslim students was 20 per cent.

The study falls in line with what other radical Islamic experts in France have warned, including top scholar Gilles Kepel, who has warned that Europe could be heading down the path to civil war because of the formation of radical Islamic parallel societies.

In an interview with Breitbart London last year, Kepel described many Muslims as identifying only with their local neighbourhoods and Islam, describing such people as having, “their feet on the ground and their head to the skies.”

According to the Terrorist Prevention and Radicalisation Reporting File (FSPRT) last year, there has been a 60 per cent increase in radicalisation in France since the Bataclan attacks.

 Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at) 


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