Thursday, December 3, 2020

French President Macron issues new regulation for Muslims living in France

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French President Macron has demanded that French Muslims adhere to a “charter of republican values,” which has been described as a large clampdown on Muslims in France.

Earlier this week, he gave the French council of the Muslim Faith (CFCM) a 15-day deadline to accept the charter. The CFCM has since then agreed to create a National Council of Imams, which will as per reports, be able to issue imams with official credentials, credentials that can officially be withdrawn.

Muslims in France have also been asked to avoid “foreign interference” and irrevocably state that Islam is not a political movement.

Late on Wednesday, the president and his interior minister, Gérald Darmanin, met eight CFCM leaders at the Élysée Palace.

“Two principles will be inscribed in black and white [in the charter]: the rejection of political Islam and any foreign interference,” one source had told the Le Parisien newspaper after the meeting.

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According to the BBC, the measures include a wide-ranging bill that seeks to prevent radicalization. It was unveiled on Wednesday and included measures such as:

  • Restrictions on home-schooling and harsher punishments for those who intimidate public officials on religious grounds
  • Giving children an identification number under the law would be used to ensure they are attending school. Parents who break the law could face up to six months in jail as well as large fines.
  • A ban on sharing the personal information of a person in a way that allows them to be located by people who want to harm them

“We must save our children from the clutches of the Islamists,” Mr. Darmanin told the Le Figaro newspaper on Wednesday. The French cabinet will discuss the draft law on 9 December.

The State of Islamophobia in France and Europe

The European Union and France have, in recent years, become increasingly Islamophobic. A study in 2009 labeled “Muslims in the European Union” by the European Monitoring Centre on Racism, and Xenophobia found extensive evidence that Islamophobia was on the rise in Europe.

Another experiment was done by Marie-Anne Valfort, Associate Member at the Paris School of Economics, and professor at the University Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne found the following results:” In 2009, we experimented on CVs, which was the first to test for discrimination based on religion.

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More precisely, to attribute possible differences in our fictive candidates’ response rate to their religion, we gave those candidates all the same country of origin (Senegal). We concluded from this CV trial that the assumption that someone is Muslim rather than Christian is a significant factor in discrimination in the French labor market. With the same CV, a French person of non-French background (in this case, Senegalese) is two to three times less likely to be called to a job interview if he or she is assumed to be a Muslim rather than a Christian.”

A more recent 2015 study called “Anti-Muslim Discrimination in France: Evidence from a Field Experiment” by the same author reached a consensus among experts on Islam in France and beyond that anti-Muslim discrimination works as a catalyst in the radicalization process.

Ironically, French President Emmanuel Macron clearly expressed this view in the aftermath of the Paris attacks of November 13, 2015: “Discrimination is not the main cause of jihadism – that is down to the madness of men, and the totalitarian and manipulating spirit of certain people. But it provides fertile ground.”

French Muslims are routinely discriminated against

The study also further found that Muslims qua Muslims are discriminated against in France: the callback rate of Muslim culture applicants (11.7%) is 6.7 percentage points lower than that of their Christian counterparts (18.4%).

This general finding masks substantial variation concerning religiosity, gender, and quality. Although non-religious Muslims show consistently lower callback rates than non-religious Christians (12.9% vs. 16.1%), this difference is modest and not statistically significant. But Muslims lose more ground when they are religious unless they show an outstanding profile. This “religiosity penalty” leads religious Muslims to be discriminated against relative to non-religious Christians. This gap further widens when religious Muslims are compared to religious Christians.

While religiosity constitutes a penalty for Muslims, it works as a premium for Christians: their callback rate is boosted when they are religious. Consequently, religious Muslims must submit twice as many applications as religious Christians before being called back by the recruiters. Male applicants largely drive this result due to the strong “religiosity premium” experienced by Christian men: the callback rate of religious Muslim men (4.7%) is nearly four times lower than that of their Christian counterparts (17.9%). These findings suggest that anti-Muslim hiring discrimination is statistical: recruiters do not discriminate against non-religious Muslims, but they discriminate against religious Muslims unless they are outstanding.

This pattern is consistent with religious Muslims being linked to a risk of problematic behavior in the workplace that leads to discrimination when their CV’s quality is not sufficient to counterbalance this risk. By contrast, and consistent with the fact that stereotypes are context-dependent (Bordalo et al. (2016)), religiosity helps Christians convince the recruiters.

GVS News Desk

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