Wednesday, October 5, 2016

A French Islam is possible - By Hakim El Karoui

A French Islam can 

A French Islam is possible
September 2016

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Hakim El Karoui / Author

Ecole Normale Supérieure of geography, Hakim El Karoui has taught at the University of Lyon II before joining the Prime Minister in 2002. After a spell at Bercy, he joined in 2006 the Rothschild bank. In 2011, he joined the consulting firm Roland Berger Strategy where he is co-responsible for Africa and consulting the French government. In 2016, he founded his own Volentia strategic consulting firm. He is also an essayist and social entrepreneur (he created the club XXI th  century and the Young Mediterranean Leaders). 

"It is because of mistrust, ignorance and the growing hostility of a section of the population threatens national cohesion it is essential that Muslims in France lead a battle of knowledge to fight against ideas received and against fundamentalism "

Hakim El Karoui

Why drive work on Islam?

Religious fundamentalism is spreading with force on our territory while if exacerbating the controversies around the inscription signs of Islamic affiliation in public space, raising tensions and anxieties. These fears are reinforced by a general ignorance of Muslims in France, their aspirations and their religious practices. 

Who are they? What relationship do they have with their religion? What beliefs they share? 

Today, the discourse on Islam and the image of Islam are largely made by proponents of a legalistic Islam, even authoritarian. The majority of Muslims France no longer feel represented by this not yet Islam there.

the portrait of the silent majority that stands the Institut Montaigne is unprecedented. The ignorance which it is subject is explained in large part by the difficulty to precisely know the sociology of the Muslim population in France. It is to remedy a pioneering investigation, solid and rigorous methodology was conducted with Ifop. 

Facing the terrorist danger brought by individuals claiming to Islam, the first state response has been and remains safe. If this response is legitimate in this context so dramatic, it may be sufficient to preserve social cohesion and national harmony for generations to come. 

The speeches and proposals that emerge in the course of the presidential campaign of 2017 will undoubtedly being fed by prejudice, fear and even hatred. This is not only meet by knowing the challenges that the tragic events of 2015 and 2016 gave birth, but also to inform debate ahead of objective factors. The Institut Montaigne believes that building an Islam french is possible. But its organization, its funding, its links with the state and with the countries called "original" must be transformed under penalty, the result of fault, making unbearable social tensions that every attack deepens .

Portrait of sociology and French 
The profile of Muslims in France is too little known today. To overcome this deficit, the Institut Montaigne led with Ifop a pioneering survey of Muslims living in France, without restricting the immigrants or immigrant . This study represents an essential step forward in the knowledge of their social profile, attitudes and aspirations. The analysis of unpublished data was performed by Antoine Garden, Doctor of Political Science and research engineer at CNRS.

Which methodology?

This methodology allowed for a solid estimate of the number of Muslims or of Muslim origin in the population.
Ifop has resorted to a very large nationally representative sample of over 15,000 people, within which a sub-sample of 1029 people declaring themselves Muslim or having at least one Muslim parent was extracted. more details .

This survey is a pioneer in France, it is appropriate to use the results with caution and moderation. The lessons it says reflect a state of opinion at the moment of its realization, not a prediction. Data analysis was performed using verifiable technical and is in compliance with the highest academic standards to date.

Who are the Muslims of France?

The portrait of Muslims in France as reflected in the survey described a very mixed. First, contrary to much conventional wisdom, is that there is no "Muslim community" nor "Muslim communalism 'single and organized. There are French culture and Islamic faith, the feeling belonging to the Muslim community is primarily individual: some voluntary commitment on behalf of Islam, or the weakness of a sense of collective destiny. 

The movement of "exit" intergenerational Islam appears two times greater than the movement of conversion to Islam. 
The results of this survey indicate that people who declare themselves Muslims represent 5.6% of the metropolitan population of more than 15 years in France . Among our sample of 1029 people, 155 people - 15% of this sample - declare non-Muslim but have at least one Muslim parent, or 1% of the overall sample. These trajectories "output" of Islam - or disaffiliation - are twice as important as the paths "entry", as 7.5% of respondents declare themselves Muslims while indicating that no parent n ' is himself a Muslim.

If the parents of the respondents are, in most cases, foreign born, more than one in two was born in France , 24% are French by acquisition and 26% are foreign nationals. 

A younger population the national average . Sample Muslims are older, on average, 35.8 years against 53 years for Christians and 43.5 years for those without religion, for example. 

The socio-professional structure of the population that defines itself as Muslim in this survey is marked by an over-representation of the working classes and remote employment population. It has almost 25% of workers, against 13.1% in the overall sample, and 38% of inactive against half in overall sample.

The social profile of Muslims in activity emphasizes a relatively high exposure to precarious forms of employment (fixed term, temporary, part-time). However, we also see the emergence of a middle and upper class: 10% of middle management and 5% of managers and professionals greater among Muslim religion or culture.

Two-thirds of Muslims think that secularism allows people to live freely their religion in France . A majority of Muslims in France is part of a system of values and religious practice that fit smoothly in the republican and national corpus (46%).

The most common social practice is not wearing the veil.Two-thirds of women of Muslim culture say they do not wear the veil. 57% say they have never worn and 8% claim to have ever worn, but no longer do so today. 
Four shared traits are characteristic of Muslims in France:  1. regular religious practice: 31% of respondents declaring themselves Muslims go once a week in a mosque or prayer room, against 8.2% in the general population  ; 2. marked respect for halal food standard:  70% of respondents say they "always" buy halal meat, 22% by buying "sometimes" and only 6% "never"; 3. veiling support, majority despite major divisions: 65% Muslim - religion or culture - are in favor of the veil  ; 4. the absence of widespread Muslim communalism: 78% of respondents declaring themselves Muslims - registered on electoral lists - say they do not always vote for a Muslim candidate in various elections. > Details of these data

But the portrait of Muslims in France is of course not limited to these common features. They are more differences and discrepancies dominate.  > Why?  The methodical analysis of the results identifies three groups:

·       the "silent majority" group comprising 46% of respondents. Their value system is in line with the French company, they contribute also to change their religious specificities;
·       the "conservatives" . More composite group, they make up 25% of the sample and are at the heart of the political and ideological battle that proposals of this report should allow to lead and win. Proud to be Muslim, they claim the opportunity to express their religion in public space. Very religious (Sharia is of great importance to them, without passing the Law of the Republic), they are often favorable for the expression of religion in the workplace, and have widely adopted the halal standard as a definition of "the be Muslim. " They reject clearly the niqab and polygamy and accept secularism;
·       the "authoritarian"  form the last group, 28% of the whole. They are mostly young, low-skilled and low inserted in employment. They live in large cities popular suburbs. This group is further defined by his use of Islam to signify his vis-à-vis revolt from the rest of French society by its conservatism. 

The French Islam today

Islam in France is fragmented and diverse: there is no one Islam but Islams, fed and disseminated by institutions and national movements, transnational organizations or foreign states. This multiplicity of actors in the French Muslim field, they create tensions and rivalries they feed, to the complexity of understanding of Islam in France.

The consular Islam

These are the original states of Muslim French to whom the State has delegated the management of Islam and the framing of Muslims in France. 1950 to today, the original states supported their efforts to maintain their control over migrant populations. However, there are two forms of consular Islam: 1. the model developed by the population of issuing States,foremost among them Algeria, Morocco and Turkey > Its history, its development and the country by country analysis 2. the model implemented by non public issuers states like Saudi Arabia and Qatar, seeking to disseminate worldwide Islamic ideology > Religion as a soft power

The consular Islam participates in the organization of Muslim worship in its administrative dimension, but its normative and prescripif power in religious matters has eroded. 

The UOIF: an Islam to the French

Union of Islamic Organisations of France (UOIF) is an important component of the landscape of French Islam. Historically close to the Muslim Brotherhood, the UOIF kept an Islamist discourse that has evolved over time, including through the institutionalization of this organization, particularly on the occasion of the creation of the French Council of the Muslim Faith (CFCM) in 2003 . Today the UOIF is a federation of "200 Muslim associations spread throughout the French territory." the UOIF has gradually established a double territorial network strategy of segmentation of its activities and the company's grid French Muslim . It is thus one of the main interlocutors of governments in terms of organization of Islam in France. > Its history, its organization, its funding and its evolution

Nevertheless, the withdrawal of the UOIF the French Muslim Council (CFCM), in 2011, resulted in the paralysis of this body. If it has successfully established itself as a pivotal player in the Islam of France, representativeness is however more proven. Given our survey, only 12% of Muslim respondents declare themselves close to this organization, while more than two-thirds of them say they do not know its existence. 

The attempt of the State to organize a French Islam

The year 1989 was a pivotal year after outsourcing the management of Muslim worship at the 1960 States of origin to 1989, the conjunction of three events - the fatwa  launched by Ayatollah Khomeini against Salman Rushdie, "the case of the veil" that erupts in Creil and the rise of Islamism in Algeria threatens french territory - are pushing the state to get involved in the organization of the Islam of France. > Pierre Joxe and the creation of the Social Council on Islam in France (1989-1993) > the Pasqua or the Algerian selection method > Jean-Louis Debré or method of laissez-faire > Chevènement : ISTICHARA of the beginnings of the CFCM > Nicolas Sarkozy and the birth of the CFCM > Review and outlook of the CFCM today > the relationship between the state and Islam in Europe: institutionalization to perfect. A convergence of modes and methods heterogeneity Progressive introduction of Muslims on French territory led to a nationalization of Islam: we went from Islam in France Islam in France. If the emergence of French Islam must be continued and completed three decades of transformations drew the contours. the French Islam has nevertheless not only an institutional and national dimension, is primarily a practice daily and local, which is organized around mosques and imams. This community of Islam . the development of the web and social networks  also profoundly transformed Islam in France. the organization of French Islam requires knowing both ends of the chain. the institutional and national segment as well as the popular and local segment analysis of the evolution of french landscape of Islam illuminates the organizational weakness of Islam in France and makes it all the more urgent structuring of Islam in France, both by Muslims in France and by the public authorities. the Muslims of France, because they are very diverse both ethnically and socio-demographic, have so far failed to build the necessary structures for managing both transparent, structured and regulated French Islam. fundamentalists outpaced in several areas, including the spread of their ideology. Therefore, the battle to fight is also ideological and cultural.





How to build a French Islam?
The Islam of France to become French. It is not today.

He faces a double challenge. Finally out of the guardianship of foreign states and centralize its organization, with the general interest of Muslim French as a guiding principle  

it should be funded by French money, must produce and disseminate religious knowledge and rely finally on women and new men, from the silent majority of Muslims of France.

For the French Islam can adopt a theological line compatible with society, must create institutions capable of producing and disseminating ideas and French values. 

Five major changes must be initiated: 1. Build a French Islam, based on truly representative bodies of Muslims in France  : the results of our survey reveal a deficit of notoriety and legitimacy of Islamic Organisations in France. Thus, more than two-thirds of respondents say they do not know the French Council of the Muslim Faith (CFCM). And among the 300 respondents know the institution, only 28% say they feel represented by this structure. We saw that it was the same for the UOIF. Achieving this goal is conditioned by two imperatives.

o   Ending the guardianship - long accepted or even encouraged by France - foreign stateswhich tolerate in no way on their land what they practice in France. Put an end to this situation requires that financial flows from these countries are no longer directed to "their" community, but in a clear and transparent manner, to a recognized organization whose resources will be used in the interest of all Muslims in France, whatever their origin. 

o   Bring out new frameworks, religious and laity, born in France, anxious to take control of an embryonic community and respond to the many challenges facing the Muslims of France . The key to achieving this is to help them build institutional legitimacy by involving them in the creation and governance of the Foundation for Islam in France and the Muslim Association for an Islam of France, planned to as we write these lines.

2 . Ensure to Islam of France transparent financial resources for collective use to structure a real organization of Islam, pay salaries of imams and respond to undeniable social fact that is "the new Islamic pride" many Muslims in France, which make Islam a less religious qu'identitaire object. The solution involves a royalty on halal and recognized institutions, able to attract and centralize donations. 3. Contribute as much as allowed by the 1905 law, the fight against fundamentalist discourse, notably through funding cultural training and work of chaplains in all enclosed places (schools, prisons, armies, hospitals, etc.) and through the teaching of Arabic in public schools. In a context in which this teaching is spreading very fast in mosques and Koranic schools, particularly due to the lack of training offered to public school. 4. Consideration must finally be brought to the absence of Islam concordat governing, even today, the relationship between religions and the state in Alsace-Moselle. So is the equality of citizens and the state's ability to create a theological faculty able to work quickly on religious interpretations compatible with French society today. 5. Ambiguities facing certain local practices (long leases, church square, loan guarantees) to assure Muslims that these legal practices are consistent with the Constitution.

Obstacles to overcome in order to build this French Islam
Geopolitical, first, because the organization of Islam in France is embedded in the complex web of relations between France and the Maghreb countries and Turkey; Organizational, then, because, despite concerns regarding Muslim communalism, the "Muslim community in France" simply is not: neither a sense of belonging or common interests identified or cluster approach capacity. For thirty years, successive Ministers of Interior have also all failed to find a representative interlocutor Financiers also because, despite some funding came from foreign countries "friends" (Morocco, Turkey, Algeria and Saudi Arabia), Islam in France is underfunded and suffers, moreover, a lack of transparency for damaging his reputation and hampering its ability to collect donations of the faithful Institutional finally, because we need the french government to do much more confidence to Muslims in France and including representatives of the silent majority ready to commit.

How? our proposals

Allow financing of worship (construction of places of worship, salaried imams, theological formation) by the Islamic Association for a French Islam, which will centralize the product of a levy on 
halal consumption.

For the French Islam can adopt a theological line compatible with French society and so it can break with speeches issued by States issuers legalistic ideologies, we must create instances - managed by a new generation Muslims - capable of producing and disseminating ideas and French values.


Elect a grand imam of France to lead the intellectual and theological work for laying the foundations 
of a French Islam.


Extend the arrangement to Islam in Alsace-Moselle to ensure the training of religious executives Muslims in France.

Islam is not integrated in Alsace and Moselle Concordat regime. It is a cult "unrecognized".Therefore, the financing of the Muslim faith - and more broadly that of new cults - is not aligned with the treatment accorded to the four recognized religions (Catholic, Lutheran, Calvinist, Jewish).


The administration is recruiting chaplains, performing a function which essentially falls within the religious and spiritual too, we recommend creating a French institute of chaplains to culturally train and recruit chaplains.


Legally equip local communities to promote the emergence of integrated local Islam (long leases, church square, loan guarantees, etc.). Although forbidden by law, squares Muslims are encouraged by public authorities, which creates a situation 
of legal uncertainty.


Teach classical Arabic in public schools to reduce the attractiveness of Arabic classes in Koranic schools 
and mosques.


Develop knowledge about Islam.

 Know and take stock of the situation by religious statistics . The French reluctance to religious census and existing estimates about religious affiliation do not allow finely monitor religious elements within the population; 

 write an academic book of common history with the Italy, Spain, Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia, to put in historical perspective mutual contributions and religious and cultural similarities between the two shores of the Mediterranean.


Create a Secretariat for Religious Affairs and Secularism, under the supervision of the Prime Minister, and attach it 
to the Central Bureau of worship.

It would have main missions:
- to send a strong political signal, leaving relations with cults safe prism - that can induce the current attachment of Religious Affairs, Ministry of Interior - and promoting interdepartmental logic in relations with the various religions; 

- to respond to the fragmented administration of the imamate, the allocation of visas to foreign imams, training of chaplains, the attachment of the french Institute of chaplains and control religious associations; 

- to liaise between the government, the insurance fund old age disability cults diseases (CAVIMAC) and cults; 

- to ensure the implementation of the 1905 law, the neutrality of public services, not recognizing any religion and treating all religions equally; 

- ensuring the administrative police cults; 

- maintain regular and constructive relations with the religious authorities and religious associations in each department - including the appointment of one delegate for religious affairs and secularism in each prefecture of department or region.

The question sheet
This document presents the Ifop questionnaire to our representative sample of the population residing in metropolitan France - 15 459 people aged 15 and over were interviewed - in which was extracted a specific sample of Muslims or of Muslim culture; they represent 1029 people, including 874 themselves as "Muslims". 

This survey was conducted from 13 April to 23 May 2016. The interviews were conducted by telephone. The representativeness of the overall sample was ensured by the quota method in terms: 
• socio-demographic criteria (sex of the individual, age of the individual); 
• socio-professional criteria (profession of the individual); 
• of geographical criteria (administrative region, urban unit size, proportion of immigrants in the city or neighborhood (IRIS) of residence) 
. • civic criteria (nationality) 

These quotas were defined using census data from INSEE for the population aged 15 and over residing in France (INSEE RP-2012). 

This questionnaire was used to collect objective data (gender, age, nationality, socio-professional category, marital status, etc.) and subjective (religious views, social and political attitudes, etc.). 

This is an experimental survey conducted on the opinions and social practices of the Muslim people, and from Muslim families in France. The analysis of these data was performed by Antoine Garden, Doctor of Political Science and research engineer at CNRS. Data from this survey are available to researchers who formulate requests, supported by a supervisor, as is customary for works of this nature. 

This investigation is not within the ethnic statistics. Its methodology is based on anonymity and the agreement of respondents who self-declared Muslim. No ethno-national meeting, ethno-racial or religious have been performed. This complete and valid survey results of pioneering work on migrants and descendants of migrants, such as the 2006 survey RAPFI and TeO survey in 2008. 

The uniqueness of this work is to be selected as filter religion which identifies individuals and not their relation to immigration. These two approaches are complementary, not contradictory.Choosing the religious prism to define the sample does not mean that all the answers are explained from the relationship to religion. On the contrary, the report stresses the social, educational, gender and generation to put into perspective their answers. 

This work meets the scientific and ethical principles of the sample survey. She stumbles on the same difficulties: the average margin of error for a survey of a sample of 1,000 people is about 3%, that inherent in the analysis of a subgroup in the same sample increases significantly and may be between 6 and 8%. 

the lessons she wears reflect a state of opinion at the moment of its realization, not a prediction.The surveys do not produce an objective knowledge of social reality. However, a reasonable use of these methods to validate or invalidate assumptions made by qualitative work by working from a representative sample. 

The results presented are a first exploratory analysis, the development of future projects will complement and confirm - or refute - the first results.

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