The article analyzes the discursive construction of republican Islam by French parliamentarians and the representatives of the French Council of the Muslim Faith (cfcm or Conseil français du culte musulman) during the debates on headscarves and full veils. It is argued that even though both parties agreed generally on the need to promote moderate Islam that is loyal to French laws, values and principles, there were also several issues that divided these parties. The article employs the framework of analytics of government and highlights the element of negotiation and the active role of the different parties involved in the regulation of Islam.
BloulRachel “Engendering Muslim Identities. Deterritorialization and the Ethnicization Process in France” Daly MetcalfBarbara (ed.) Making Muslim Space in North America and Europe Comparative Studies on Muslim Societies 22. (Berkeley: University of California Press1996) 234–250.
CaeiroAlexandre “Religious Authorities or Political Actors? The Muslim Leaders of the French Representative Body of Islam” CesariJocelyne & McLoughlinSeán (eds.) European Muslims and the Secular State reprinted 2010 The Network of Comparative Research on Islam and Muslims in Europe (Farnham and Burlington, VT: Ashgate 2005) 71–84.
DebréJean-LouisRapport fait au nom de la mission d’information sur la question du port des signes religieux à l’école Rapport no. 1275 (2003). http://www.assemblee-nationale.fr/12/rapports/r1275-t2.asp 5ème partie (accessed 5 May 2014).
FerrariAlessandro & PastorelliSabrina (eds.) The Burqa Affair Across Europe. Between Public and Private Space Cultural Diversity and Law in Association with religare (Farnham, UK and Burlington, VT: Ashgate2013).
FornerodAnne “The burqa affair in France” FerrariAlessandro & PastorelliSabrina (eds.) The Burqa Affair Across Europe. Between Public and Private Space Cultural Diversity and Law in Association with religare (Farnham, UK and Burlington, VT: Ashgate2013) 59–76.
GerinAndréRapport d’information fait en application de l’article 145 du Règlement au nom de la mission d’information sur la pratique du port du voile intégral sur le territoire national Rapport no. 2262 (2010). http://www.assemblee-nationale.fr/13/pdf/rap-info/i2262.pdf (accessed 5 May 2014).
KaistoJani & PyykkönenMiikka “Johdanto. Hallinnan analytiikan suuntaviivoja” KaistoJani & PyykkönenMiikka (eds.) Hallintavalta: sosiaalisen politiikan ja talouden kysymyksiä (Helsinki: Gaudeamus2010) 7–24.
LeveauRemy & HunterShireen T. “Islam in France” HunterShireen T. (ed.) Islam Europe’s Second Religion. The New Social Cultural and Political Landscape published in cooperation with the Center for Strategic and International Studies Washington d.c. (Westport, Connecticut: Praeger2002) 3–28.
VillardFlorent & SayeghPascal-Yan “Redefining a (Mono)cultural Nation: Political Discourse against Multiculturalism in Contemporary France” TarasRaymond (ed.) Challenging Multiculturalism. European Models of Diversity (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press2013) 236–254.
For instance Alain Boyer“La representation du culte musulman en France,”French Politics Culture & Society23/1 (2005) 8–22 and Jonathan Laurence “From the Élysée Salon to the Table of the Republic: State-Islam Relations and the Integration of Muslims in France” French Politics Culture & Society 23/1 (2005) 37–64.
Veit Bader“The Governance of Islam in Europe: The Perils of Modelling,”Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies33/6 (2007) 871–886 here 873; Nikolas Rose Powers of Freedom. Reframing Political Thought (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 1999) 15; Jani Kaisto & Miikka Pyykkönen “Johdanto. Hallinnan analytiikan suuntaviivoja” Jani Kaisto & Miikka Pyykkönen (eds.) Hallintavalta: sosiaalisen politiikan ja talouden kysymyksiä (Helsinki: Gaudeamus 2010) 7–24 here 7.
For instance DebréRapport14; Gerin Rapport 395. The reasonings of the commissions (most notably the Stasi Commission) that worked during the headscarf and full veil debates as well as the laws of 2004 and 2010 and their (unwanted) consequences have been criticized in research literature. To give just a few examples see Gunn “Religious Freedom” and Leane “Rights”.
See for instance Olivier RoyLa laïcité face à l’islam (Paris: Stock2005) 160–165 and Remy Leveau & Shireen T. Hunter “Islam in France” Shireen T. Hunter (ed.) Islam Europe’s Second Religion. The New Social Cultural and Political Landscape published in cooperation with the Center for Strategic and International Studies Washington d.c. (Westport Connecticut: Praeger 2002) 3–28 here 12–13. It is interesting to note the difference of tone between the 2003 hearings of the Rector of the Paris Mosque Dalil Boubakeur and the General Secretary of uoif Fouad Alaoui. While the former was praised for courageously defending laïcité and his quest for moderate Islam the loyalty of the latter was more or less questioned. This is however in accord with the fact that Paris Mosque had close ties with the state even before the establishment of the cfcm while uoif and its links to the Muslim Brotherhood have caused concerns.