French prisons to hire imams to curb radicals

Justice Minister Christine Taubira has announced plans to employ more imams in French prisons, as a way of preventing Islamic extremism being fomented.

Taubira revealed plans to employ 15 imams in 2013 to cover 30 of the 200 prisons in France.

“We have to make sure that religion and worship take place, but that these also respect the values and laws of the Republic,” she said.

“I factored into the 2013 budget to take on 15 full-time imams, who would be able to cover 30 establishments,” she said.

“I’m going to try to do the same thing in 2014, which will allow us to have 30 more establishments with imams.”

There are currently 60 prisons in France who have their own imam.

“But we’re not mixing all the issues into one – there is a problem of overcrowding in prisons and a lack of privacy for inmates, which can lead to deliquency” said Taubira.

“It is therefore absolutely not just a problem of radicalisation.”

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