08 December 2016

Where next for France's complex relationship with Islam?

France must prove that Islam is fully compatible with the fundamental values of the republic or it risks letting fear and distrust overwhelm society

Islam is the second religion in France, after Christianity. There are an estimated 5 to 6 million French citizens of Muslim culture, about a third of whom declare themselves to be practicing Muslims. Contrary to what the Front National would have us believe, their presence is not the result of a forceful invasion. It is very simply the result of our history. A tumultuous history, made of lights and shadows.

From the cultural celebrations of French Orientalism to French imperialism, and from the bloody battles of independence to the successes and failures of post-colonial immigration and integration, our relationship with Islam and the Muslim culture has been long, complex and possibly more intense than for any other western country. [Policy Network] Read more