December 7th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Sad news for French multiculturalism, as the only (!) politician who dared wear an islamic headscarf* has left the Nouvea Parti Anti-Capitaliste. Brent Whelan:

Moussaïd gave the party its most widespread–though least welcome–burst of publicity last February when she appeared on the list of local candidates in the regional election wearing the Islamic headscarf she favors. Squeezed between the strident criticisms of feminists and secularists, she held her ground–and insisted on her qualifications as a long-time social and party activist–with grace and poise that belied her 21 years. (See my previous post, “Veiled Threat,” 2/15/10) After a storm of polemics, mostly hostile, both inside the party and in highly visible venues such as the Idées pages of Le Monde, Ilham and her local supporters had hoped the delicate issues of tolerance and diversity she raised could be fully aired in a party congress. But as that public debate receded in time–originally scheduled for November, then December, now February–she apparently lost confidence in the party’s openness to her situation, and now her chapter is closed.

* We’re not even talking about a hijab here, by the looks of it — just a hair covering. i.e. something that wouldn’t be the faintest bit controversial in any halfway-sane political climate.

Laïcite

December 22nd, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

Ah, the ever-flexible French obsession with laïcite — now showing its good side, as the language in which to condemn a statement that “when there are more minarets than Cathedrals in France, it will no longer be France”.

FT on the French integration debate

October 5th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

On the never-vanishing topic of Islam in France, this article in the FT is pretty good.

Farhad Khosrokhavar, director of research at France’s Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, estimates that 15 to 20 per cent of French Muslims do not practise Islam at all. Fasting during Ramadan is considered a basic duty of the religion, yet only about 70 per cent of French ­Muslims even claim to do it. In short, European Islam has many of the same problems as European Christianity.

Via Art Goldhammer, unsurprisingly

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