Category Archives: Islam

Le Voile a Duke

Pendant le semestre, nous avons eu des discussions à propos de la voile. Mais, dans ces débats, nous avons tous parlé de la voile come s’il était quelque chose distant, un question qui affectait la France et des autres parties du monde. Mais dans nos conversations, je crois que nous avons oublié que le traitement de la voile est quelque chose qui est ici, à Duke aussi. Cet article dans le Chronicle explore ce débat dans une manière plus proche à notre communauté.

Tariq Ramadan Speaks on NPR

Though the class is over, I thought I’d post a couple more links that I ran across yesterday. All Things Considered on NPR conducted an interview with Tariq Ramadan after the US State Department lifted his ban on travel earlier this year. In it, he discusses his views on Islam in relation to US and European policy and politics. He makes many references to the current veil issues in France and, interestingly, makes a pointed argument that the veil argument is but a cover-up by right-wing French politicians to mask the still ongoing issues in the banlieues.

Also, I posted a link to a short article from the New York Times on Shanghai’s World Expo. Similar to the colonial expo of France (minus the colonial part), China is putting on a multinational show that is projected to be bigger than the olympics for the country.

NPR Link

NYT Link

Polygamie en France

J’ai trouvé un article intéressant dans Libération sur un cas récent qui est devenu très controversée en France. Il s’agit d’un commerçant français originaire d’Alger qui est actuellement détenu pour avoir plusieurs épouses (bien qu’il les appelle des « maitresses »). Sans doute,  la situation est plus compliquée que ça, car le commerçant -Lies Hebbadj- est accusé qu’il a profité de sa polygamie pour faire des fraudes sociales, car toutes ses « maitresses » peuvent prendre avantage des aides sociales. Quand même, c’est intéressant d’entendre les arguments des représentants d’UMP, qui soutiennent que la polygamie est « contraire aux principes de la République » (Xavier Bertrand). Lies Hebbadj est en effet en danger de perdre sa citoyenneté française, selon le ministre de l’Intérieur Brice Hortefeux.

Voila aussi deux vidéos ou on peut apprendre les opinions du ministre français de l’Immigration et Identité Nationale, Eric Besson, sur la question de déchéance de nationalité française d’une personne qui est accusée de polygamie en France :

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Les actions de l’UMP sur ce sujet ont été manifestement critiqués par les partis de gauche, notamment le parti socialiste et le parti communiste :

Il faut aussi mentionner qu’une des maitresses de Lies Hebbadj a été elle aussi au centre d’un débat récemment car elle a conduit une voiture en portant le niquab.

” French PM advised against total Islamic veil ban”

Continuing the conflict over the wearing of veils in France, France’s top administrative body issued a statement in which they said that a full ban may be unconstitutional.  The statement also included necessary precautions, and advised that any legislation would have to be very specific.

The council said any law could be in violation of the French constitution as well as the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.

Despite the warning, there are indications that the panel drafting legislation may ignore the advice and continue ahead with their original plan.  Regardless of what happens, this is sure to add more fuel to the fire and may prove divisive among the French government.

The Poet President: Leopold Senghor

At the bottom of the well of my memory, I touch your face
And draw water to quench my long regret.
You recline royally, elbow on a cushion of clear hillside.
Your bed presses the earth, softening the drums in the wetlands,
Beating your song, and your verse
Is the breath of night and the distant sea.

-Leopold Senghor (“Letter to a Poet: To Aimé Césaire”) **Translated by Melvin Dixon

Aimé Césaire and Leopold Senghor

In the interview with Aimé Césaire that we watched for Thursday’s class, the poet describes the first friend he made when he moved to France as a young man, a “short but well built” fellow with “thick glasses and a gray jacket.” It was Leopold Senghor, a Senegalese man who would soon rack up a dizzying and improbable list of achievements, becoming a world-renowned poet, the first president of Senegal, and the first black member of the Académie Française—a kind of George Washington meets Robert Frost meets W.E.B. Dubois in coastal West Africa.

But that pivotal day in 1931 he, like Césaire, was simply a talented student had come to Paris by way of a French colony to be educated. As young black men in Paris in the 1930s, straddling the strange cultural line between their homelands and metropolitan France, Césaire and Senghor became fast friends. Both were founding writers for L’Etudiant Noir, a newspaper that brought together the writing of students from across the African Diaspora. From amidst this dialogue on the black experience emerged a new idea, that of negritude. At its core, negritude represented a celebration of a transnational black identity in opposition to the racism of French colonialism, and it quickly colored the writing of both Césaire and Senghor.

But like Césaire, Senghor developed aspirations beyond the bounds of poetry. In the aftershock of World War II—a war in which he had fought for the French—Senghor was part of the call for increased autonomy reverberating across the French colonial world and soon became one of Senegal’s first black representatives to the French National Assembly.

This positioned him to become one of the leading political figures in Senegal, and when French West Africa became independent in 1960, he ascended to the role of president (although for his entire life he would remain steadfast in his belief that Senegal and France should remain closely tied). Senghor cut an unlikely figure for a Senegalese head of state. He was a Catholic in a 95% Muslim nation, a member of a minority ethnic group, and a man who had spent much of his adult life in France. But he was also a skilled negotiator and a shrewd political thinker, and he would go on to serve for 20 years before becoming one of the first African politicians to voluntarily cede power to a democratically elected opponent (even if in Senghor’s case it was a hand-chosen successor from within his own political party…but that’s another story).

Anyway, in the context of our study of Césaire, I thought others in the class might like to hear a little about another of the negritude poets to see how Senghor’s life path intersected with—as well as diverged from—his. And Senghor just cuts a fascinating figure in his own right.

Plus, you have to admit, this is a pretty spectacular hat:

Barbie en burqa

Je voudrais partager avec vous un sujet qui est devenu très controversée et qui est lié à la question du voile intégrale non seulement en France, mais partout dans le monde. Il s’agit de la façon originale choisie par la compagnie Barbie pour célébrer cinquante ans d’existence en décembre 2009. Des nouvelles modèles de Barbie, qui portent le burqa et le hijab, ont été introduites pour représenter la culture islamique dans la ligne des poupées qui existent déjà. J’inclus deux liens,  l’un en anglais et l’autre en français, qui offrent plus d’informations sur ce sujet.

L’événement a attiré beaucoup d’attention, particulièrement négative : [kml_flashembed movie="" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

Cependant, je trouve que c’est difficile de répondre à la question majore de ce débat : ces Barbies, sont-elles des représentations culturelles ou une modalité d’exprimer et même encourager l’oppression des femmes ? Je pense toutefois que le problème a été peut-être été exagéré par le média.

Quel est votre opinion ?

More on the Veil

Adding to the recent post about the proposed law relating to the wearing of full veils, a foreign national in France was denied citizenship for forcing his wife to wear a full veil.  The French government was quick to emphasis that they were protecting his wife’s liberty, rather than taking a stand against veils in general.  For the full story head over to the BBC

France’s Parliament Issues Report on the Veil Issue

Just yesterday a French Parliamentary Committee submitted a report that recommended a ban on face veils.  While the ban outlined by the comittee applies to public buildings, it is not the full ban that many in France are calling for.

The wearing of the full veil is a challenge to our republic. This is unacceptable. We must condemn this excess

The report also outlines consequences for not adhering to the recommendations, including offenders being stripped of their citizenship.  It is imporant to note though, that the ban would only apply to full face veils, which completely cover the face.  There is fear that any full bans would incite large scale violence among the Muslim population in France, and would make the nation a target for terrorists.  The debate is far from over though, as now actual law has been proposed and it may take months to work through the opposing ideas on the subject.

For the full story head over to the BBC.

La burqa et le niqab en France: l’audition de Tariq Ramadan

Hier, Dr Lynn Hunt a mentionné le problème du voile musulman en France. La burqa et le niqab sont les voiles portées par quelques femmes musulmanes et la cause d’une grande discussion actuelle. Ce problème est très intéressant du point de vue politique, historique, religieux, et social. C’est important que, comme Dr Hunt a dit, nous essayons de voir cette question d’un point de vue français et aussi musulman.

On peut voir l’argument de Tariq Ramadan, un érudit musulman, à l’Assemblée nationale ici. (La vidéo est divisée en 11 parties, et on peut les voir toutes sur Youtube.)

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