Archive for category Islam

La polygamie à la française?

http://www.lefigaro.fr/international/2012/11/12/01003-20121112ARTFIG00457-broadwell-une-femme-ambitieuse-et-sportive.php

J’ai trouvé cet article intéressant parce que traditionnellement les Français ont des opinions vraiment diffèrent que les Américains notamment vers les relations amoureuses hors le mariage. On pense à François Mitterrand et le fait que sa femme et sa maitresse ont été côté à côté aves les enfants légitimes et illégitimes à son enterrement. (On peut voir les photos dans ce site : http://iconicphotos.wordpress.com/2009/10/16/mitterands-funeral/.) En plus, j’ai entendu que beaucoup des français n’ont pas compris le scandale autour de Bill Clinton et Monica Lewinsky.
C’est pour cette raison que j’étais attiré par l’article sur Paula Broadwell et David Petraeus. Je penserais qu’ils ne s’occuperont pas de ça. Mais, en lisant l’article j’ai pensé au sujet de la polygame dont on a beaucoup parlé. En approchant les nouvelles de la perspective française comme ça, je pense que le problème n’est pas la relation amoureuse, mais le fait qu’elle a exposé la relation pour sa jalousie. Le Figaro demande : « Comment cette experte en antiterrorisme, qui a visité plus de 60 pays et s’astreint à une hygiène de vie irréprochable, a pu envoyer des mails de menace à une femme qu’elle considérait comme sa rivale ? » comme si le fait qu’elle est elle est éduquée, bonne, et respectable implique sa discrétion.
Je n’ai pas lu beaucoup sur ce sujet des nouvelles américains, mais j’imagine qu’ils ont des autres foyers. Je sais au moins que les américains s’intéressent plus au général tandis que les français s’intéressent plus à la maitresse. Ça me dévoile que même si les français soutiens qu’ils sont contre la polygamie, il n’est pas simplement noir et blanc. Il y a des façons spéciales de la faire, et il faut suivre leurs règles.

Par Judith Duportail
Mis à jour le 12/11/2012 à 14:50 | publié le 12/11/2012 à 13:20

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Et qu’est-ce qui se passe si l’on définit la race et la religion ?

Dans son livre, Why the French Don’t Like Headscarves, John R. Bowen explore le thème de la laïcité à travers le voile.  En lisant son œuvre, je me suis demandée dans le troisième chapitre pourquoi  les recenseurs ne peuvent pas demander des questions sur la foi ?  Je comprends que le concept de la laïcité est axé sur la séparation entre la religion et l’État et que l’évolution du concept a résulté avec le but du traitement égal des toutes les religions (au moins hypothétiquement), mais est-il possible que le problème avec la France et ses religions vient du fait qu’elle « ne reconnaît pas la religion » d’une certaine manière ?

 

On a déjà découvert en classe (et avec des liens entre Le Ventre de l’Atlantique et Soccer Empire) qu’il y a cette notion qu’on ne peut pas être en même temps un membre de la France et d’un autre pays (avant une colonie de la France).  Premièrement, le problème avec cette question commence avec la difficulté d’adresser le fait que la Constitution française ne reconnaît pas la race.  Ce conflit pose des problèmes parce que si l’on ne définit pas la race, comment est-ce qu’on pourra commencer à aborder la solution d’une question de race ?  Indépendamment de cette réalité, les personnes qui décident d’immigrer en France trouvent des obstacles qu’entravent l’intégration des cultures et des sociétés.

 

Donc, comment est-ce qu’on peut parler de la laïcité en France quand les populations religieuses sont des estimations inexactes ?  Pourquoi restreindre la liberté à dire votre religion (à travers les enquêtes) ?  A mon avis, cela peut encourager les gens à ne pas parler ouvertement de leur religion—une marge de manœuvre pour les problèmes.

“Nous (Aussi) Sommes La Nation”

J’ai trouvé un article dans Rue89 sur un nouveau mouvement contre la discrimination contre les musulmans en France qui s’appelle “Nous (aussi) sommes la nation.” Le mouvement est un effort de diminuer l’islamophobie et les préjugés contre les musulmans en France. La campagne est partie de le Collectif Contre L’Islamophomie en France (CCF). La campagne utilise les médias et l’internet pour diffuser son message. Le site du CCF utilise plusieurs vidéos, articles, témoignages, et affiches pour accomplir sa mission. Une des affiches les plus choquantes et une image qui mimique le “Serment du Jeu de paume,” une des peintures les plus reconnues de la Révolution. L’image implique que les musulmans qui sont les sujets de discrimination sont le tiers-état d’aujourd’hui; une implication forte, qui, sans doute, va inviter beaucoup de débat et controverse. Cet article peut contribuer a notre discussion de classe sur le voile; étant une grande partie de l’identité musulmane, une discussion sur le voile serait une ajoute utile aux message du CCF. J’ai inclus l’image du “Jeu de paume” moderne:

Voilà les sites de l’article de Rue89 et du site de “Nous (aussi) Sommes la Nation”:

http://www.rue89.com/2012/10/31/nous-aussi-sommes-la-nation-un-slogan-contre-lislamophobie-236658

http://www.noussommeslanation.fr/

Sondage : l’opinion publique de l’Islam en France

Un sondage de 25 octobre 2012 du Figaro a trouvé que la majorité des français croient que l’Islam est « trop influent » dans la société française. De plus, 43 percent des répondants ont dit que l’Islam pose une menace à l’identité nationale française. Les nombres sont aussi pauvres sur des autres questions : 63 percent ont dit que les femmes ne doivent pas se voiler en publique (en comparaison avec 59 percent en 2010), et 43 percent ne voulait pas la constructions des mosquées nouvelles (39 percent in 2010).

Moi, je ne fais pas confiance à tous les sondages (on trouve toujours beaucoup d’erreurs dans le processus), surtout un sondage propagé par un journal avec un point de vue partisan. Cependant, est-ce que ces nombres sont seulement des représentions plus récentes de la montée des sentiments anti-islamiste en France ? On a un peu d’évidence de ce problème : 4 ans après la publication du livre de Bowen, « Why the French Don’t Like Headscarves », la France a adopté un nouveau loi qui interdit le niqab (le voile qui couvre le visage) dans l’espace publique. La controverse a déjà déménagé de l’école à la rue. De plus, on voit l’asenscion du Front National de Marine le Pen, et des autres mouvements similaires en l’Europe.

Comment a l’opinion publique de l’Islam changé entre 2007 et aujourd’hui ?

Debate on Anti-Islamic Cartoons in Charlie Hebdo

As Giulia has noted on this blog, in the context of world-wide demonstrations surrounding the Youtube video “The Innocence of Muslims,” a new controversy has erupted surrounding cartoons published in the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo. Here is an interesting debate between the cartoonist and French intellectual and activist Marwan Muhammad, spokesman for the CCIF – Collectif Contre l’ Islamophobie en France.

Charlie Hebdo, Liberté d’Expression, et Religion

La publication française Charlie Hebdo a attirée l’attention des médias internationaux avec sa décision de publier des bandes-dessinnés offensives envers les musulmans. Cela a crée un énorme débat dans le pays sur la liberté d’expression des médias. Les représentants de la publications ont défendu la décision en citant cette droite, encourageant le débat sur ces sujets plutôt que la violence. CNN rapport que la communauté musulmane est furieuse. Les BDs sont des représentations péjoratives du prophète Muhammad, considérés blasphématoire par l’Islam. Tout cela est en train de se dérouler juste après les protestations contre “Innocence of Muslisms,” un film anti-Islamiste qui a été au centre de débat et l’attention des médias récemment. Au centre de tout cela reste la question de liberté d’expression – est-ce qu’il y a des limites sur quoi on peut dire et publier?

Ici on peut voir l’article de CNN:

http://www.cnn.com/2012/09/19/world/europe/france-mohammed-cartoon/index.html

Thoughts on “In a Ban, a Measure of European Tolerance”

This past week, the NYTimes published a piece on the aftermath of the passage of a law banning face covering veils. According to the article there seems to be a relative peace, one in which police and veiling-wearing women acknowledge the law but usually don’t act on it. Most affected women pull their veils off when they encounter police (rather than actively protest it), and most police either accept this or issue a small warning (rather than issue a fine).

The law has had very little actual impact on the daily lives of Muslim women. “Since the law went into effect, 425 women wearing full-face veils have been fined up to 150 euros ($188) each and 66 others have received warnings.” The police has no interest in increasing racial and religious tensions.

While debate over the law and its impacts reached a fever pitch before its passage, the reality of of life under the law is that very little has changed. Critics argued the law would increase tensions between the police and immigrant and Muslim populations in France. But, tolerance shown by both groups involved has led to a situation different from what many projected.

While this article was somewhat heartening to me because it hasn’t significantly increased tension or caused more conflict, it has made me reflect on the reasoning behind the law. As an American, I have had difficulty wrapping my head around the purpose of the law. On the one hand, I see it and the American perception of freedom of religion and expression as irreconcilable. I cannot fathom such a law passing Congress and being signed into law, much less upheld by a court in the U.S. But, on the other hand, I’ve slowly begun to understand that my American perceptions of these freedoms and the perspective of many French people and the French government (at least under Sarkozy, when the law was passed), are entirely different. though the American government and society and those of France are based largely on the same fundamental ideas of freedom, the realization of them are immensely different. I may be off on this, but I feel that in the U.S., we have codified freedoms and rights that are expressed and realized in any number of ways. But in France, I feel, many of the same freedoms and rights are codified, but there is a unique manner in which they’re realized. This manner is seen as the best possible to preserve longterm and society-wide acceptance of these freedoms.

In a sense, I see France as almost forcing assimilation with a “French” way of freedom. Indeed, the article notes that supporters believe that “France needed to protect its “republican values” of secularism in the public space; many also said that France’s Muslims, immigrants and French-born, must accept French norms.”

These beliefs reminds me of Achille Mbembe’s point from his 2005 articles written during and after the banlieue rights that the French government hasn’t come to terms with a post-colonial world and how to govern in it. Just as the French government forced (or tried to force) its colonial subjects in the Caribbean, Africa and Southeast Asia to assimilate with French society – celui des Français de souche ou des Français blancs du métropole – the government today imposes itself on the immigrants and minority citizens in an effort to force them to be “French.” These immigrants and minority citizens, then, can’t just immigrate to France and be considered “French” – they must display that they have given up their past ideas of governance, freedom, rights, etc. and accepted and embraced those of France to become “French.” The veil law seems to be an expression of the French government forcing those who aren’t “French” to become it – imposing itself on those who are racially and religious different or in the minority.  Sounds like quintessential neo-colonialism to me.

The Hijab on the Pitch

Members of the Iranian National Women’s Football team (Source: FIFPro)

 

On Friday, July 6, the French Football Federation announced that it would ban the wearing of hijab during all organized competitions held in France. The Federation declared that in doing so it was fulfilling its “duty to respect the constitutional and legislative principles of secularism that prevails in our country and features in its statutes.”

The decision came one day after the International Football Association Board — the body within FIFA that governs the laws of the game — unanimously declared that it would, for a “trial period,” allow players to wear the hijab during international competitions. France, then, is seeking to carve out an exception to an international ruling, one that links its football regulations to a broad set of laws that ban veils in public schools and public administration, as well as banning the burqa in all public spaces.

(The hijab covers the hair and neck; generally the term “veils” is used to describe coverings that also cover part of the face, though the usage varies quite a bit; and a burqacovers the entire face).

Scholars including Joan Scott and John Bowen have analyzed the history of these broader debates in rich detail, tying them both to longer colonial histories and contemporary battles over secularism, Islam, and immigration in France. The banning of the hijab from the football pitch was initially a relatively minor subplot in these broader battles over veils, hijab, and burqas in Europe and Canada. But the involvement of FIFA, the Iranian government, a Jordanian Prince, and the United Nations have helped to transform the terrain of football into an increasingly important battleground over the hijab.

The recent controversies are part of a longer, complex story of the presence of Muslim women in football, a topic nicely examined by Risa Isard on the Soccer Politics blog.  But their more immediate background goes back to 2007. In that year, in Quebec, a referee at Under-12 girls’ soccer tournament ordered an 11-year-old player named Asmahan Mansour (pictured below) to remove the hijab she was wearing during play. She refused, and was told she would have to leave the field. As Mansour later explained: “I think it’s pathetic, really, ’cause it’s [the head scarf] tucked in my shirt.”

Asmahan Mansour (Source: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation)

In a powerful — but since little-reported — show of solidarity, her entire team along with four others playing in the tournament protested, refusing to continue playing unless Mansour was allowed to play. Their instant reaction to the decision speaks volumes. To them, it seems, Mansour’s hijab was a normal and unproblematic part of their daily lives as players, and the insistence that she remove it seemed an intolerable intervention — one they were so insulted by that they preferred to forfeit than to accept it.

Part of the reason for the strong reaction the girls had to the referee’s intervention is that Quebec’s position was at odds with that of other regions of Canada. In Ontario, for instance — and in Ottawa, where Mansour was from — officials and referees had allowed girls to wear the hijab as long as it was properly tucked into clothing so as not to present a hazard on the field. But the intervention on the football pitch was part of a broader pattern in Quebec, which like France has banned the burqa in all public spaces.

Mansour’s case was referred to the International Football Association Board (IFAB) in March 2007. They agreed with the decision of the referee, saying that Law 4 of the Rules of the Game listed the articles players could wear, and did not include headscarves. “If you play football there’s a set of laws and rules, and law four outlines the basic equipment,” said one IFAB member. “It’s absolutely right to be sensitive to people’s thoughts and philosophies, but equally there has to be a set of laws that are adhered to, and we favour law four being adhered to.”

The IFAB decision was, perhaps intentionally, vague: no mention was made of safety, the banning of religious or political symbols, or other reasons to prevent women from wearing a hijab. The conclusion was just that the current laws didn’t allow them to do so. In an interview, legal scholar Linda Sheryl Greene explores the potential implications of the decision. What became clear over time was that it was a precedent-setting decision in the world of football. Though national federations still had leeway about how they dealt with the issue in local competitions, the FIFA decision had a necessary trickle-down effect: federations couldn’t place players who insisted on wearing the hijab in teams in international competition.

As importantly, FIFA became the first global international organization to officially take up the issue of the hijab as a human rights issue. (The European Union Court had, on previous occasions, upheld the banning of hijab in both France and Turkey, rebuffing legal activists who claimed they were violations of human rights; but these decisions are territorially limited.) As a result, FIFA’s decision took on a kind of symbolic importance that the members of the organization had perhaps not, at first, expected it would.

The 2007 decision didn’t provide much guidance for subsequent attempts to justify the decision. After all, IFAB can change the Laws of the Game, as they have done on frequent occasions: so why not change them to allow hijab? In response to questions and pressure about the decision, however, FIFA and national federations offered a variety of justifications for the ban. One of the most frequent has been to insist that hijabs pose a safety hazard — that they could get caught during play, for instance, and perhaps strangle a player. This particular argument has always seemed like it would collapse under the weight of its own absurdity. After all, long hair is more likely to get pulled or tangled in play. And one could ask: if wearing something that covers your head poses a danger to players, why are goal-keepers allowed to do so according to Law 4, as Petr Cech famously does to protect his skull in the wake of an injury received on the pitch? The safety argument was probably deployed because it seemed the least controversial, a way to skirt the obvious cultural and religious struggles at work in this debate. The problem for those who wanted to use it to stop the approval of the hijab is that it was also relatively easy to confront: all that was needed was to develop a hijab that was relatively tight and attached with velcro (the way Cech’s headgear is) to avoid the danger of it being stuck around a player’s neck.

Another problem for FIFA is that there has, at least to my knowledge, never been any concern expressed by players themselves about the hijab. Indeed, like the girls in Quebec who walked off the field in 2007, many players have supported the rights of teammates to play while wearing one. The global player’s organization FIFPro came out in support of lifting the ban on veils, for instance. The organization Right2Wear has been advocating at the grassroots for women’s right to wear headscarves while playing football.

Such organizations on their own, however, probably would not have had the clout to reverse FIFA’s decision. Unlike France, Quebec, or Europe more broadly — where the bans on veils and burqas have been contested but never successfully overturned—FIFA has to deal with powerful internal constituencies who opposed their ruling on the hijab. For football federations from North Africa, the Middle East, and Asia seeking to develop the women’s game, the ban on the hijab represented a serious obstacle. Given the increasingly important role played by the region within FIFA, the association began as an ideal site for international political pressure against the ban.

The process of reversing the ban began in 2011, when FIFA officials stopped the Iranian national women’s team from playing in an Olympic qualifying game because their players were wearing hijab. The team was literally minutes from entering the field when they were told they could not play, though FIFA later claimed that the Iranian federation had been warned in advance they would not be allowed to play. Interestingly, during that incident FIFA justified the ban on hijab on the basis of regulations that outlaw the presence of “politics or religion” on uniforms, not based on the safety dangers cited in 2007. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad attacked FIFA, referring to them as “dictators” and “colonialists,” while the Iranian ambassador to Jordan referred to the leaders of the international footballing organization as “extremists.”

As FIFA cynics pointed out at the time, the organization was perhaps the only one in the world capable of making Ahmadinejad sympathetic to a broader global consituency — especially on the issue of women’s rights. If Iran had been on its own in confronting FIFA, they might not have made much headway. But others also began mobilizing to criticize the ban. Jordan’s Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein took up the cause, and in March 2012 insisted that FIFA should overturn the ban. He argued that this decision was vital “to ensure that all women are able to play football at all levels without any barriers or discrimination.” (Jordan’s national women’s team had been forced not to select certain players for international competition because they wished to wear the hijab when they were playing.) And a United Nations sports advisor wrote to FIFA also urging them to lift the ban, arguing that “FIFA has the responsibility to ensure that everyone has an equal chance to participate in football.”

In March of this past year, FIFA voted to end the ban and allow players on the pitch in new, specially-designed, velcro-fastened hijab. Besides spurring on the creation of a whole new branch of athletic wear — one can imagining smiling Nike and Adidas executives reading the news — this was a significant reversal.

(Source: The Muslim Times)

It was, however, still tentative, for the issue of the safety of the hijab was still to be taken up by medical specialists at FIFA. Finally, on July 5, a full — if still temporary — approval of the hijab in international women’s play was passed by FIFA, prompting much celebration in some quarters, and the immediate refusal of the principle by the French Football Federation.

There will, undoubtedly, be more twists and turns to this issue. Globally, the hijab has become a crossroads for political and religious conflict, and it should come as no surprise that this is true in football, too. Yet there is something fascinating about this struggle over the right to play football in a hijab because of the nub of contradictions at work. Though they often used the pretext of player safety, what underlies the decisions of authorities who have banned the hijab is the idea that they were simultaneously protecting women from the veil and protecting the turf from expressions of worn Islamic religious identification. Those who have insisted that women and girls be allowed to play wearing the hijab have argued that to deny them this right is an attack against their freedom and equality. For the moment, the latter argument has — at least tentatively — won the day. This means that girls and women will no longer be asked to make a choice between the hijab and playing the game they love.

In the long-running debates over the banning of veils from French public schools, a minority of critics have persistently insisted on the fundamentally contradictory nature of such regulations. If the goal is to encourage the emancipation of women from patriarchal structures, how is excluding them from school the answer? And sociologists who interviewed the girls who were wearing veils to school in the 1980s and early 1990s found that their motivations, as well as their religious convictions, were extremely diverse and more often expressions of cultural or community pride — or a mechanism to avoid unwanted attention from boys — than the result of pressure from families.

Wearing a hijab onto the football pitch is an inherently complicated act. It is difficult to argue that, in doing so, girls and women are demonstrating deep submission to patriarchal gender constructions, for in the very act of participating in an intense, competitive, and highly public athletic contest they are pushing the boundaries of such constructions. From the beginning, the worry about the implications of wearing a hijab on the pitch has come from referees, national federations, and FIFA authorities, rather than from players. Many of them — like 11-year-old Mansour in 2007 — seem to feel none of the conflict or contradictions that those supervising their play feel about the garment.

Shireen Ahmen has recently written about the experience of playing in a hijab, describing with a mix of humor and irritation the constant questions she gets about doing so. Her piece asks readers to simply understand that wearing a hijab is “how I play. How I CHOOSE to play.” To those who ask her questions on the pitch — “Isn’t it hot?” — she offers: “I am not averse to answering questions. Just not in the middle of a match. Ask me after. I am happy to provide my number, a dinner invitation and a Tariq Ramadan website.” And though she imagines “scoring 3 goals and performing in some Messi-like manner whereby achieving a great victory for all oppressed Muslim women and earning the respect and acceptance of these nimrods,” in fact — just like any player — the reality is more banal. “Some games I play well. Some games I get called for illegal slide-tackles.” Ahmen’s piece offers precisely what we need more of now: an understanding of the lives of “hijabi footballers” as she calls them, that gets us back to reality on the pitch of play — and the play of individuality and community that is ultimately what football is about.

The official debate about the hijab in football is clearly far from over. Authorities in Quebec seem committed to pushing back against FIFA’s new rules, and have curiously brought the story full circle: just days after the ruling, they banned Rayane Benatti, a 9-year-old girl, from playing in a youth match in a hijab. They explained that they would wait until the International Football Association Board determined precisely what type of hijab could be worn (a decision they will take in October) before allowing any girls to play wearing them. But France and Quebec will likely be increasingly isolated in this stance; indeed, the Montreal Gazette itself published a strong editorial attacking the regional football association’s action.

Now that the hijab has been allowed back on the pitch by FIFA, perhaps football can help to confront and unwind the simplistic debates that have surrounded the issue for too long. After all, the day may not be too long off when a player in a hijab scores the winning goal for a country — maybe even England or Germany — in the Olympics or the World Cup, producing an image of triumph and belonging that can serve to trouble the other images of women veiled that govern and shape much debate in Europe on this topic. To allow the hijab on the pitch is to allow football to do the work that it can, at its best, do so well: confusing certainties, upending easy affiliations, and reminding us that no one has a monopoly on the future.

Les Elections dans le monde arabe et la charia

Chaque fois que je lis les nouvelles, il y a quelqu’un qui parle de l’Islam dans le gouvernement, ou de la Syrie, ou de l’Iran. Aujourd’hui, j’ai lu un article au sujet de l’Islam un peu différent : une discussion par la ministre française Jeannette Bougrab. Elle est la secrétaire d’Etat à la jeunesse en France, mais elle est d’origine arabe (spécifiquement algérienne). Elle exprime ces sentiments sur les succès électoraux des partis islamistes au Maroc, au Tunisie, et en Egypte. Elle dit, « C’est très inquiétant… Je ne connais pas d’islamisme modéré… Il n’y a pas de charia light. Je suis juriste et on peut faire toutes les interprétations théologiques, littérales ou fondamentales que l’on veut, mais le droit fondé sur la charia est nécessairement une restriction des libertés, notamment de la liberté de conscience… Je ne soutiendrai jamais un parti islamiste, au nom des femmes qui sont mortes ». Après notre lecture de Soccer Empire, quelques aspects de cet article m’ont parus plus intéressants. Le fait que Bougrab est identifié comme la fille de harki, et aussi qu’elle s’identifie comme femme française d’origine arabe. Il me semble qu’à cause de son identité féminine, française et arabe, elle donne une perspective nuancée sur ces événements qui est lié à cette idée d’une France mondiale.

Suburbs in Post-colonial France and Europe (“Integration”, “Multiculturalism,” “Communautarism”)

To follow up on our discussion about the French banlieues, you will find here an article (in English) written right after the 2005 suburban Riots. In “Understanding Urban Riots un France” Jonathan Laurence and Justin Vaisse give a precise account of how the French, Republican model of “Integration” is at stake in any discussion concerning the cultural, religious and political conflicts as they appear in France, and in particular in the suburbs. They also briefly compare the intergrationist model to other notions used to think about the encounter between the diverses cultures of immigrants and the supposedly more solid culture of European countries where these immigrants settled (Dutch “tolerance”, British “multiculturalism,” for instance). This article is also very good at explaining how one needs to go beyond these notions to consider the specific, concrete situation of the French banlieues and their population to understand the 2005 Suburban Riots.

Despite significant differences within Europe in terms of the spatial history of immigration, the suburbs of England, France or Germany share many features (see this article, in French), partly because they have designed their suburbs by looking at how other European countries dealt with what we could call the spatial organization of immigration (taking up this issue, writer Lydie Salvayre imagined in her 2007 novel Les Belles âmes a Bus Tour of the Suburbs for European good-hearted city dwellers). This article from French news portal Rue89,  written during the last London Riots, explains how the Tottenham Suburbs used to be a model of “Integration” for the Parisian Suburbs. And here, it’s worth noting that if we can definitely draw parallels between the 2011 Riots in the British Suburbs and the French riots 6 years before, the targets of the contestation and destruction were very different: in the more recent case, the symbols of capitalism in England (stores, banks) we attacked, whereas the French youth took the symbols of the state and of the Republic as a target (schools and buses in particular). This is the origin of the discourse according to which Islam is replacing the model of the Republic in the French Suburbs. This issue is a complex and delicate one: how productive is it to understand immigration and social interractions in religions terms? If “integration” as a model seems not to be working in France, how interesting is it to replace this  model with another one that insists on communautarism? How to think about Islam, in France, without either avoiding the question or falling into far-right reactionary position? How can we think of social interractions in the privileged space of post-colonial France?

Here are a couple of links to start thinking about these questions (and to read with a critical mind!):

  • In French

http://insecurite.blog.lemonde.fr/2011/10/12/banlieues-et-islam-deux-rapports-au-destin-mediatique-tres-different/

http://www.grands-reporters.com/Banlieues-la-tentation-islamiste.html

http://cemoti.revues.org/1695

  • In English

http://www.euro-islam.info/country-profiles/city-profiles/paris/

http://www.thelocal.fr/1407/20111006/

css.php