Gérard Araud, France's Ambassador to the United States, said Sunday that joblessness is not a contributing factor to the terror waged by the Islamic State and other Islamic radicals.
"It is not because you are unemployed that you are blowing yourself [up] in a theater," Araud told CNN’s Fareed Zakaria. "It is something which is much more particular - the problem is radical Islam, very, very obviously."
Also during the interview, Zakaria challenged Araud on the claim that the majority of those in French prisons are Muslim.
"What about the issue that people have raised which is that France has an alienated and unassimilated Muslim population?" he asked Araud.
"Most of them were actually not alienated in an economic sense," Araud replied bluntly. "They had jobs."
The claim is that 70 percent of France's prison population is Muslim, despite Muslims being just 7-8 percent of the country's general population. Araud also debunked the notion on twitter.
"No statistics about muslims in French prisons exist," Araud tweeted Sunday morning. "Sorry but this figure of 70% has never been proven," he said in another tweet.
Sorry but this figure of 70% has never been proven. Actually, 35% prisoners ask for a special meal during Ramadan. https://t.co/PLzaBgeUIc— Gérard Araud (@Gérard Araud)1448168662.0
No statistics about muslims in French prisons exist. The figure of 70% comes from a WP article. Surrepresentation yes, majority doubtful.— Gérard Araud (@Gérard Araud)1448207458.0
Sunday's interview was not the first time the French Ambassador openly admitted that radical Islam is an underlying problem. Following the horrific attack on the French satire newspaper Charlie Hebdo, Araud confirmed that France was "at war with radical Islam."
Follow the author of this story on Twitter and Facebook: