Les Franquillons en prennent plein la gueule aux Etats Unis (Traduction libre de Gilbert Geffroy)

Article en français ( traduction allégée !!)  et article de base en anglais.

TERRORISME – Les valeurs politiques et culturelles françaises jouent paradoxalement un rôle clé dans la radicalisation islamiste, affirment deux chercheurs américains qui ont étudié la mouvance extrémiste sunnite autour du monde.

Les récents attentats de Bruxelles, précédés de ceux de Paris en janvier et novembre 2015, “illustrent une vérité troublante: le danger que posent les jihadistes est plus grand en France et en Belgique que dans le reste de l’Europe”, écrivent William McCants et Christopher Meserole de la Brookings Institution, un prestigieux centre d’études américain.

De fait, “aussi bizarre que cela puisse paraître, quatre des cinq pays enregistrant les plus forts taux de radicalisation dans le monde sont francophones, dont les deux premiers en Europe”, relèvent ces deux chercheurs dans un article intitulé “The French Connection”, publié jeudi dans la revue Foreign Affairs.

“C’est une insulte à l’intelligence”

“Ce texte ne fait aucun sens méthodologique. C’est une insulte à l’intelligence. De Proust à Daech (le groupe Etat islamique)?”, a réagi l’ambassadeur de France aux Etats-Unis Gérard Araud sur son compte Twitter personnel. “La Belgique est à 45% francophone. Sa culture politique est sensiblement différente de celle de la France”, a-t-il souligné.

This text doesn’t make any methodological sense. An insult to intelligence. From Proust to Daesh? https://t.co/lOwy3zTnGu

— Gérard Araud (@GerardAraud) March 26, 2016

Les deux auteurs de l’étude disent avoir étudié le contexte d’origine des étrangers ayant basculé dans le jihadisme, pour aboutir à cette conclusion “surprenante”: le premier facteur n’est pas qu’ils viennent d’un pays riche ou non ou d’un pays éduqué ou non; le premier facteur n’est pas non plus qu’ils soient eux-mêmes riches ou non, qu’ils aient un bon accès à l’internet ou pas. Le premier facteur est, selon eux, qu’ils proviennent d’un pays francophone ou qui a eu le français comme langue nationale. L’explication qu’ils avancent se résume en trois mots: la “culture politique française”.

Very good point for the @BrookingsInst. Waiting for the study : “The fattening effect of Jane Austen”. https://t.co/2TZiW3cgy4

— Gérard Araud (@GerardAraud) March 26, 2016

“Très bonne remarque, j’attends maintenant l’étude : les effets grossissants de Jane Austen”

“Laïcité plus ‘virulente”

“L’approche française de la laïcité est plus incisive que, disons, l’approche britannique. La France et la Belgique, par exemple, sont les deux seuls pays européens à bannir le voile intégral dans les écoles publiques”, notent McCants et Meserole.

Les deux chercheurs affirment se fonder sur les nombres de jihadistes rapportés à la population musulmane des pays observés. Ainsi, disent-ils, “par habitant musulman, la Belgique produit nettement plus de combattants étrangers que le Royaume-Uni ou l’Arabie Saoudite”.

Auteur de l’ouvrage The ISIS Apocalypse sur le groupe Etat islamique, William McCants est un spécialiste reconnu du monde islamique au sein du Center for Middle East Policy, spécialisé dans l’implication des Etats-Unis dans cette région. Il conseille d’autre part le département d’Etat américain sur les questions d’extrémisme religieux.

Lui et Meserole insistent également sur un important sous-facteur: l’interaction entre les taux d’urbanisation et de chômage chez les jeunes. Quand le taux d’urbanisation est de 60 à 80%, avec une proportion de jeunes désœuvrés de 10 à 30%, alors apparaît une poussée de l’extrémisme sunnite. Or ces cas de figure s’observent surtout dans des pays francophones, assurent-ils.

Résultat, certaines banlieues de Paris, Molenbeek (Belgique) ou Ben Guerdane (Tunisie) génèrent proportionnellement un nombre “extrêmement important” de candidats au jihad, constatent-ils. Face à ce cocktail mêlant culture politique française, urbanisation et chômage des jeunes, William McCants et Christopher Meserole concèdent en être réduits à une “conjecture” qu’ils développent ainsi:

“Nous supposons que lorsqu’il existe de fortes proportions de jeunes sans emploi, certains d’entre eux sont voués à la délinquance. S’ils vivent dans des grandes villes, ils ont davantage d’occasions de rencontrer des gens ayant embrassé une doctrine radicale. Et quand ces villes sont dans des pays francophones ayant une conception virulente de la laïcité, alors l’extrémisme sunnite apparaît plus séduisant”.

 

 

The French connection: Explaining Sunni militancy around the world

Editors’ Note: The mass causality terrorist attacks in Paris and now in Brussels underscore an unsettling truth: Jihadis pose a greater threat to France and Belgium than to the rest of Europe. Research by Will McCants and Chris Meserole reveals that French political culture may play a role. This post originally appeared in Foreign Affairs.

The mass causality terrorist attacks in Paris and now in Brussels underscore an unsettling truth: Jihadists pose a greater threat to France and Belgium than to the rest of Europe. The body counts are larger and the disrupted plots are more numerous. The trend might be explained by the nature of the Islamic State (ISIS) networks in Europe or as failures of policing in France and Belgium. Both explanations have merit. However, our research reveals that another factor may be at play: French political culture.

Last fall, we began a project to test empirically the many proposed explanations for Sunni militancy around the globe. The goal was to take common measures of the violence—namely, the number of Sunni foreign fighters from any given country as well as the number of Sunni terror attacks carried out within it—and then crunch the numbers to see which explanations best predicted a country’s rate of Sunni radicalization and violence. (The raw foreign fighter data came from The International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence; the original attack data came from the University of Maryland’s START project.)

What we found surprised us, particularly when it came to foreign fighter radicalization. It turns out that the best predictor of foreign fighter radicalization was not a country’s wealth. Nor was it how well-educated its citizens were, how healthy they were, or even how much Internet access they enjoyed. Instead, the top predictor was whether a country was Francophone; that is, whether it currently lists (or previously listed) French as a national language. As strange as it may seem, four of the five countries with the highest rates of radicalization in the world are Francophone, including the top two in Europe (France and Belgium).

Knowledgeable readers will immediately object that the raw numbers tell a different story. The English-speaking United Kingdom, for example, has produced far more foreign fighters than French-speaking Belgium. And fighters from Saudi Arabia number in the several thousands. But the raw numbers are misleading. If you view the foreign fighters as a percentage of the overall Muslim population, you see a different picture. Per Muslim resident, Belgium produces far more foreign fighters than either the United Kingdom or Saudi Arabia.

[W]hat could the language of love possibly have to do with Islamist violence? We suspect that it is really a proxy for something else: French political culture.

So what could the language of love possibly have to do with Islamist violence? We suspect that it is really a proxy for something else: French political culture. The French approach to secularism is more aggressive than, say, the British approach. France and Belgium, for example, are the only two countries in Europe to ban the full veil in their public schools. They’re also the only two countries in Western Europe not to gain the highest rating for democracy in the well-known Polity score data, which does not include explanations for the markdowns.

Adding support to this story are the top interactions we found between different variables. When you look at which combination of variables is most predictive, it turns out that the “Francophone effect” is actually strongest in the countries that are most developed: French-speaking countries with the highest literacy, best infrastructure, and best health system. This is not a story about French colonial plunder. If anything it’s a story about what happens when French economic and political development has most deeply taken root.

An important subplot within this story concerns the distribution of wealth. In particular, the rate of youth unemployment and urbanization appear to matter a great deal too. Globally, we found that when between 10 and 30 percent of a country’s youth are unemployed, there is a strong relationship between a rise in youth unemployment and a rise in Sunni militancy. Rates outside that range don’t have an effect. Likewise, when urbanization is between 60 and 80 percent, there is a strong relationship.

These findings seem to matter most in Francophone countries. Among the over 1,000 interactions our model looked at, those between Francophone and youth unemployment and Francophone and urbanization both ranked among the 15 most predictive. There’s broad anecdotal support for this idea: consider the rampant radicalization in Molenbeek, in the Parisbanlieus, in Ben Gardane. Each of these contexts have produced a massively disproportionate share of foreign fighters, and each are also urban pockets with high youth unemployment.

As with the Francophone finding overall, we’re left with guesswork as to why exactly the relationships between French politics, urbanization, youth unemployment, and Sunni militancy exist. We suspect that when there are large numbers of unemployed youth, some of them are bound to get up to mischief. When they live in large cities, they have more opportunities to connect with people espousing radical causes. And when those cities are in Francophone countries that adopt the strident French approach to secularism, Sunni radicalism is more appealing.

For now, the relationship needs to be studied and tested by comparing several cases in countries and between countries. We also found other interesting relationships—such as between Sunni violence and prior civil conflict—but they are neither as strong nor as compelling.

Regardless, the latest attacks in Belgium are reason enough to share the initial findings. They may be way off, but at least they are based on the best available data. If the data is wrong or our interpretations skewed, we hope the effort will lead to more rigorous explanations of what is driving jihadist terrorism in Europe. Our initial findings should in no way imply that Francophone countries are responsible for the recent horrible attacks—no country deserves to have its civilians killed, regardless of the perpetrator’s motives. But the magnitude of the violence and the fear it engenders demand that we investigate those motives beyond just the standard boilerplate explanations.

William McCants

Director, U.S. Relations with the Islamic World

Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy, Center for Middle East Policy

@will_mccants

William McCants is a senior fellow in the Center for Middle East Policy and director of the Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World. He is also an adjunct faculty member at Johns Hopkins University and has served in government and think tank positions related to Islam, the Middle East, and terrorism, including as State Department senior adviser for countering violent extremism. He is the author of “Founding Gods, Inventing Nations: Conquest and Culture Myths from Antiquity to Islam” (Princeton University Press, 2011) and “The ISIS Apocalypse: The History, Strategy, and Doomsday Vision of the Islamic State” (St. Martin’s Press, 2015).

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.fr/2016/03/26/radicalisation-france-etude-francophonie-gerard-araud_n_9550006.html?utm_hp_ref=france&ir=France

 

 

 

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