Islamophobia rises in France as presidential election nears

The query of Islam has lengthy been a thorn with inside the French status quo’s side.

With France at the cusp of presidential elections, far-proper perspectives have permeated mainstream public discourse at the Muslim community, immigration, and security.

For Anasse Kazib, the country’s collection of measures and legal guidelines in current a long time have sought to curtail the Muslim manner of lifestyles below the guise of fighting “terrorism” and “Islamism”.

The 35-year-vintage Marxist railway employee and son of Moroccan immigrants ran as a far-left candidate for the primary spherical of French presidential elections on April 10. But he fell brief of accumulating the desired 500 sponsorships from elected officers to seem at the ballot, and stated the response to his candidacy through the status quote come primarily based totally on worry and hostility.

“When I become strolling for the election, the lines of Islamophobia and reactionary politics had been there,” he stated.

“There had been posters of my face in Paris, with the words ‘0% French, 100% Islamist’ written on it.

When you’re a political activist you don’t have the proper to be Muslim, or maybeArab.”

In assessment to the opposite candidates, Kazib changed into now no longer given airtime with the aid of using the mainstream media to campaign, which he stated changed into proof that his political message changed into traumatic the system.

“I suppose they were given terrified of us, of what we represent, of the novel thoughts we carry – and avoided my candidacy from existing,” he stated.

Kazib stated he changed into walking on behalf of the youth, working-elegance areas, and those who do now no longer experience represented on this election.

“It is going past the airtime issue; they denied our existence,” he continued.

“When your call is some thing like ‘Anasse Kazib’, it’s even worse.

There are Islam phobic and xenophobic bias at stake.”

While he’s proud to be a descendant of immigrants, and to be a employee and hail from a working-elegance area, he did now no longer mince his phrases while requested wherein Muslims match in French society.

“The French identification does now no longer encompass the Muslim community,” he stated.

“They in no way reputable us as French people.

They need to determine how French we are.”

Stigmatization of Muslim community According to Julien Talpin, a researcher in political technology on the National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), President Emmanuel Macron’s first time period has been “gloomy” for French Muslims – with the adoption of the separatism regulation with inside the summer time season of 2021 mainly significant.

While the authorities claims its regulation is meantto reinforce France’s secular system, critics say it unfairly singles out the Muslim network and restricts non secular freedom.

“We noticed genuinely with inside the National Assembly debate that the goalis the Muslim network,” he said.

“There is that this concept that there’s a huge problem of separatism and communitarianism with inside the network, which France need to combat with laws.”

The regulation became first brought with inside the aftermath of the ugly homicide of Samuel Paty, a trainer who became be headed through an 18-year-antique Russian Muslim refugee after he confirmed his college students Charlie Hebdo cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad.

The effects for the Muslim network had been mainly injurious, Talpin said.

In addition to dozens of mosques being compelled to close, the Collective Against Islamophobia in France (CCIF) employer became close down, and numerous Muslim charities have been disbanded.

“There’s a clean discrepancy with inside the rhetoric we pay attention after each fundamental assault in France – this necessity for Islam to organise, to unite at the back of one voice,” he explained.

This try and create an “Islam in France” – a model of Islam that might in shape with inside the French identity – is not anything new.

“At the equal time, while Muslims are seeking to organise together and with out following with inside the steps of the government, it’s visible as suspicious,” he said. “It’s one in all the most important effects of Macron’s term – this upward push of the stigmatisation of Islam and its network in France.”

Brain drain

France has an anticipated 5.7 million French Muslims, the most important Muslim populace in western Europe.

But consistent with educational researchers, the discrimination, racial violence, and reactionary politics in opposition to the network have brought on lots of them – especially folks who are exceedingly educated – to to migrate from France in an effort to are searching for higher activity possibilities and greater freedom.

Olivier Esteves, a professor of British Studies on the University of Lille and a researcher who has carried out interviews with 148 French Muslims residing abroad, stated the resultant “mind drain” is some thing that is “generally French”.

“Of course, Islamophobia impacts the bulk of western democracies, however it’s a query of scope, of ways robust hostility in opposition to Muslims is,” he stated.

“In France, it is going manner past different countries.”

According to the research, the pinnacle locations for those emigrants are the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, Canada, Morocco and Algeria.

In the wider survey that blanketed 1,074 respondents, as a minimum sixty nine percentage of these interviewed stated discrimination and racism have been elements in them leaving France, sixty threepercentage stated they left to stay their faith greater peacefully, and 40.

five percentage stated paintings reasons. When requested whether or not they mightgo back to France, most effective 4.

fifty six percentage replied within side the affirmative, and 44.7 percentage stated they’ll in no way come back.

Esteves stated that individuals who put on see symptoms and symptoms of non secular belonging, including a beard or hijab (headscarf), frequently discover it not possible to get right of entry to the activity marketplace in France.

“You have very knowledgeable human beings with stages who experience that their most effective choice in the event that they have been to stay in France is to paintings in a halal supermarket,” he stated.

“If their Muslim ness isn’t so seen they’ll be running for a main enterprise however frequently experience that their profession is being bogged down via way of means of their perceived non secular identification.”

Identity conundrum

Another essential factor that alienates French Muslims is laicite, or secularism – a middle French precept this is turning into an increasing number of related to French identification, consistent with Esteves.

“This is normally coded language,” Esteves stated.

“It’s dog-whistle politics to speak approximately Muslims with out sounding Islamophobic.”

French identification must be separated from lao cite, he continued.


“It’s pressing one must dissociate French secularism, a prison precept, from this type of tribal, Gallic, subjective love of the country,” he stated.

For Tampon, the problem of French identification appears to be polarized via way of means of the ones at the proper and a ways proper who see being French as tied to Christian identification, the records of the country, and accepting the values of the Republic.

“Others will protect and be given the melting pot France has become,” he stated. But for Kazib, a multicultural society does now no longer imply acceptance.

“The a waysproper outline us as French most effective on paper,” he stated.

“The proper-wing say that banlieues [suburbs] and quarters populaires [low-income neighborhoods] are no-pass zones, and the left say that those regions are forgotten via way of means ofthe Republic.

“No rely what, there’s a shape of consistent subordination in the direction of descendants of immigrants not only Muslim – now– in France.”

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