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Journal Article

Citation

Brown BE. Am. Foreign Policy Interests 2007; 29(3): 183-199.

Copyright

(Copyright © 2007, Informa - Taylor and Francis Group)

DOI

10.1080/10803920701451848

PMID

unavailable

Abstract

During the French riots in October–November 2005, the cry of Allah Akbar (“God Is Great”) resonated in some neighborhoods. Was the Republic being defied by militant Islam? Most French specialists on urban problems assert that Islam had nothing whatever to do with the riots. The chant was launched by conservative clerics, they point out, who were brushed aside subsequently. The fault lies with the native French, they continue, who have failed to welcome Muslims and other emigrants from the third world. However, other French observers have suggested that Muslims share at least some of the blame for the relative failure of the integration process compared to success with previous waves of immigration. They believe that there have emerged in France two nationalisms, or separate senses of communal identity (native French and Muslim). French Muslims are both integrating and rebelling, in what proportion is not yet clear. Developments in France mirror global relations between the West and Islam. The overriding conflict of the postcold-war world is being played out and can be studied to good effect in the country that hosts the largest Arab-Muslim population of the Western world.

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