PARIS – The founder of the far-right National Front party, Jean-Marie Le Pen, demanded on Monday that French jihadists who appear in videos released by the Islamic State terror group be executed by guillotine.
Unlike those who think France should set up rehab centers for young people who have enlisted in the radical Islamist group, the 86-year-old Member of the European Parliament proposed reintroducing the death penalty in a video posted on his website.
Le Pen added that he has other centers for jihadists in mind, in which the guillotine would be a cleaner way to cut off their heads, in reference to the French jihadist Maxime Hauchard, who was identified in an IS video in which he beheaded 18 Syrian prisoners and an American aid worker.
The far-right leader made his remarks in a barbed response to former conservative minister Valerie Pecresse, who proposed that young jihadists returning from Syria be interned in specialized centers to counter the indoctrination they received in the war-torn region.
Le Pen, who is used to creating controversy with his polemical statements, said that beheading is “the usual method of execution” in the Islamic world and recalled that it had already been used in the Algerian war of independence, in which he participated.
He noted, however, that the novelty lies in the fact that the executions are now being performed in the presence of an audience, with the aim of “terrorizing the opponents” and “attracting Muslims around the world.”
The National Front lists as one of its planks in the party’s electoral platform the holding of a referendum to decide on the restoration of the death penalty in France.