Monday, December 28, 2009

The Marseille Mosque

The Times looks at the identity debate, focusing on the new mosque in Marseille. Steven Erlanger writes:

“Today in Europe the fear of Islam crystallizes all other fears,” Mr. Geisser said. “In Switzerland, it’s minarets. In France, it’s the veil, the burqa and the beard.”


The large new mosque, which its builders call “the symbol of Marseillais Islam,” is a source of pride here in France’s second-largest city, which is at least 25 percent Muslim. But it is also cause for alarm, Mr. Geisser said, embodying the paradox that visible signs of integration set off xenophobic anxiety. “All these symbols reveal a deeper, more lasting presence of Islam,” he said. “It’s the passage of something temporary to something that is implanted and takes root.”

3 comments:

FRANCIS said...

I am surprised to find Mr Geisser given as a credible reference on Islamism. His positions have always been to promote islamic values and even attack "moderate Muslims" as "islamophobes". He was a signatory of the manifesto "Indigènes de la République" - a neither neutral nor scientific positioning.

I would instead recommend the reading of Abdelwahab Meddeb's contribution - surprisingly poorly visible in Le Monde - "La burqa et le cercle des idiots"
http://www.lemonde.fr/opinions/article/2009/12/26/la-burqa-et-le-cercle-des-idiots_1285142_3232.html

satchmo said...

Here's an intervention by Emmanuel Todd from Rue89:

http://www.rue89.com/2009/12/27/identite-nationale-en-parler-finit-dans-la-haine-de-lautre-131435

satchmo said...

Ack, very sorry; reading previous items I see I'm bringing up material already covered.