Egalite ou Realite: Where Do Muslims Truly Reside in Today's France?   [open pdf - 334KB]

"In this study, the author focuses on France, exclusively, to illuminate the potential causes for material and/or ideological support to terror in that society, and further indicates how these trends may be evident or potential throughout Western societies. As in recent years, the word 'Muslim' has become synonymous with terror in the daily lexica of France and other Western societies, this thesis demonstrates that terrorism is not a spontaneous or stand-alone problem. Terror and other forms of extremism in France-- whether imminent or imagined--mark an end form of the true issue: social exclusion, or alienation, or isolation of French Muslims. French society's Republican values of liberty, equality, and fraternity make no distinction for such identity factors as ethnicity and religion. This study focused on the French headscarf ban, with its goal of promoting integration. This thesis demonstrates that the wearing of headscarves by Muslim girls in French society was manifested as a challenge to French identity and the tradition of laïcité, or secularism. These ideas, and others central to Frenchness, or Françité, are seen in the French polity as threatening, as well as a visual representation to the threat posed by the influx of Muslim immigrants and their failure to assimilate. This thesis concludes by demonstrating that issues such as racism, Islamaphobia, and social alienation or exclusion are the vehicles that radical Islamists prey upon to find potential jihadists. If the headscarf ban is politicized by the fundamental Muslim community, the ban ultimately might prove counterproductive resulting in reduced integration in public schools, more segregation, and a radicalized Muslim community hostile to the Western traditions that France holds so dear."

Author:Davis, Michael A.
Publisher:Naval Postgraduate School (U.S.)
Copyright:Public Domain
Retrieved From:Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC): http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/
Media Type:application/pdf
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