⇒| First published 9th September 2018 in Le Figaro
The Alarming Propagation of Islamist Ideology
As the Institut Montaigne publishes its report entitled The Fabric of Islamism, the fire-power and audience-size of the Internet and social networks are providing major tools for proselytism.
In these times when ideals and political parties are in crisis, one ideology in particular has enjoyed, in France, a nine-fold increase in its number of adherents. In the 1990s, the internal intelligence services [Renseignements généraux, RG] recorded a few hundred “Salafists”, characterised by their peculiar dress and islamist preaching : Algerians straight out of the années noires [Algerian civil war, 1988-2000], or Tablighis [members of the Sunni missionary movement] anxiously seeking “re-islamisation”. In 2004, again according to the RG, the number of adherents had reached 5,000 across the country. By 2015, a former Interior Ministry official was talking about “15,000 to 20,000”. And, according to the most recent estimate, Salafism now brings together between 30,000 and 50,000 people.