Over the last three years, France has suffered a number of terrorist attacks by radicalized Islamist extremists, some homegrown and some from former French colonies like Algeria. The question of how to stop these attacks has been widely disputed, often stirring up nationalist sentiments and boosting up far-right politicians.
The issue is made particularly difficult because of the small number of French citizens that have left France to fight for the Islamic State. This week, the French government has announced that it will allow hundreds of children, all with French citizenship and most under the age of six, who were taken with their mothers to Syria to be transported back to France to be with their families. The children are stuck in refugee camps reserved for the wives and children of jihadist fighters in Syria, and have been remotely claimed by family members living in France who are concerned for the welfare of the children. The French government has decided that it would be “in the best interest of the children” to have them separated from their mothers, who must agree to be separated from their children, and return to France. The mothers will be prosecuted by local authorities, and brought to France.
This plan may be contested, but at least it’s on trend. After all, separating children from their parents and transporting them across foreign borders does seem to be the hot new political move of the season.