Why do the French fear Islam?

This article was originally published in The Berkley Forum on May 8, 2017. It is based on a talk Professor Cesari gave at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University on May 8, 2017.

Professor Jocelyne Cesari argues that the fear of Islam in France is fuelled by three political and cultural factors: War on Terror, Salafization of Islamic thinking, and French laicite.

Islam as a political force: more than belief

Since 9/11, and even more so with the atrocities committed by ISIS in Iraq and Syria, violence in the name of God is predominantly perceived as a “different” kind of violence, that triggers more “absolute” and radical manifestations. As a result, the dominant assessment of religion in world affairs, is that the scope and reach … Continue reading “Islam as a political force: more than belief”