Jihadi Town - a Karin Wells documentary
The headline in the British newspaper says it all: "Portsmouth Jihadist Killed in Syria: Wanted to Come Home". He was 19; the 4th young man from that British city killed fighting for ISIS. Then there are the Swedes, the Belgians, the French teenagers. And there are Canadians: according to CSIS, a growing number. The EU says at least six thousand Europeans have gone to Syria to help their Muslim brothers. Many die in the fight but a great many, like that teenager from the UK "want to come home". Then what?
The British prime minister tried to ban young jihadists from returning. Germany has jailed those it can convict. The French talk about revoking passports. Denmark, benign little Denmark - part of the American-led coalition bombing ISIS targets - has the second highest number of jihadists per capita in Europe. A disturbingly large number come from the city of Aarhus, home to a radical mosque, and to an equally radical approach to returnees.
In Aarhus, when the kids phone home from Syria - as they almost inevitably do - they are told, "Come back. You will be welcomed." They are given a second chance, in the name of prevention and security. The Aarhus model began to attract international attention last year. Barack Obama invited the Mayor to the White House to talk about it.
Our documentary "Jihadi Town", was produced by Karin Wells.
Related content: In January, following the attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, The Sunday Edition invited four guests from four different European countries to talk about Muslim assimilation in Europe. You can listen to that conversation, "I am Ahmed", here.