“So that their love for France does not diminish.” A psychiatrist gives advice to Macron about children in Syria


AP Ludovic Marin

French psychiatrist Boris Cirulnik called on President Emmanuel Macron to return 200 French children of “jihadists” with their mothers from Syria, considering that their stay there “poses a threat to France’s security.”

“The longer they stay there, the less their love for France will diminish,” Cirulnik wrote in an article for the Journal du Dimanche. “We can prevent that if we take care of them.”

He added, “I think that the president is afraid of these children turning into jihadists. But I assure that this will not happen, and my opinion does not come from nothing, but is based on scientific observations (…) If we take care of them early on, they will not become dangerous.”

Cirulnik, who heads the committee “The First 1,000 Days of the Child”, which submitted in September 2020 a report to the French President on this pivotal period between pregnancy and the child’s reaching two years of age, also calls for the return of the mothers of these children.

“The mothers of these children are their only safe haven,” he said. “Putting them back alone is further aggression and isolation. They will likely hate the country that caused them such suffering.”

He expressed his fear of “controlling them with extremist ideologies,” saying, “We risk turning them into bombs.”

The psychiatrist considered that returning the children with their mothers “would activate in the children the process of neuroplasticity that enables the brain to overcome the trauma,” stressing that early in this “makes it easier.”

He stressed that “the lack of stimulation of the brain leads to an enlargement of the area that generates instinctive motives. In the child, this is translated into feelings of anger that turn into rudeness, and in the end, the state incurs a heavy cost.”

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“If we wait too long,” he wrote, “the transformations will have taken root and they (children) will have only one means of expression and that is violence.”

Source: AFP

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