The question surrounding Muslims’ integration in France has returned to the forefront of public discussion this week, following a report that 60 percent of inmates in the country come from “Muslim religion or culture.”

Le Figaro reported rightist MP Guillaume Larrive as saying French prisons are susceptible to Islamist extremism, and “several hundred prisoners” might have been radicalized.

He suggested that “specialized anti-radicalization units” be formed for inmates who had returned from jihad, as well as increasing surveillance.

Mathieu Guidere, a French university scholar of Islam, told Al Arabiya News that “the alarming number of Muslim inmates in France is a direct consequence of the failure to integrate minorities.”

The estimated 40,000 Muslims in French prisons reflects persistent social divisions between Muslims and other French citizens, Guidere added.

Other analysts pointed to economic factors. “Muslim prisoners in France are usually unemployed and living in the most poverty-stricken suburbs,” Raphaël Liogier, a French sociologist and political scientist, told Al Arabiya News.

They are often second-generation immigrants of Arab origin who arrive in France in complicated financial situations, he added. “They’re usually frustrated, and end up committing crimes as revenge against society.”.. see more