why overeducated Muslims select exile | EUROtoday

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Published on the finish of April, the survey “France, you love it but you leave it”, co-signed by three French researchers, describes a French and Muslim diaspora, largely certified, having chosen Canada, the United Kingdom or Dubai to flee the discrimination suffered in France. Interview.

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It’s an unquantifiable phenomenon. More and extra French folks of Muslim tradition or faith, from postcolonial immigration, extremely certified, are leaving France to settle within the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States, Dubai but in addition within the Maghreb. This is what the survey “France, you love it but you leave it” says (ed. du Seuil), a title within the type of a nod to the far-right slogan “France, love her or leave her” standard within the Nineteen Eighties.

Between 2011 and 2023, three lecturers, Olivier Esteves, Alice Picard and Julien Talpin, interviewed 1,070 folks utilizing a name for testimonies launched on Mediapart after which performed 139 in-depth interviews. Their remark is evident: French folks of Muslim religion, practising or not, battle to seek out their place in France regardless of having accomplished college programs (54% of respondents have a bac+5). Victims of discrimination due to their title, their look or their faith, of microaggressions, the folks interviewed testify to an “Islamophobia” that has turn into insufferable to the purpose of selecting exile. A phenomenon exacerbated for the reason that assaults of 2015 but in addition by the anti-Muslim discourse of sure politicians. “Islam is not compatible with France”, affirmed in 2021 the person who would turn into the presidential candidate of the far-right Reconquête! celebration, Éric Zemmour. Interview with Olivier Esteves, co-author of the work and college professor of civilization in English-speaking nations on the University of Lille.

France 24 : Why did the folks interviewed determine to depart France ? Do they really feel French ?

Olivier Esteves : A sure variety of folks interviewed report, from their childhood, a strategy of discrimination and minoritization linked to their college profession. Their feeling of belonging to the French nation has been considerably eroded by these recollections. And the much less we’re accepted inside the symbolic borders of the French nation, the much less we have a tendency, exactly, to really feel French. Nevertheless, the sensation of belonging to France stays fairly sturdy, notably since leaving the nation. That's the paradox: there's numerous ache, the shortage of household… It's actually an emotional weight. However, a minimum of 9 out of ten folks don’t wish to return to France. Hence the problem in speaking about expatriation, which presupposes a return. It is an actual “brain drain”, a mind drain, as a result of these folks don’t wish to return to France.

Is this a failure of French meritocracy? ?

That's precisely it, however it's not a Franco-French debate. In the United States, in Great Britain, nations which have college programs and social state programs fully totally different from ours, we’re additionally debating this. In France, meritocracy isn’t solely linked to ethnic or non secular discrimination, it’s also linked to the structuring of the college system. From kindergarten by increased training, there’s a distinction between underfunded public colleges and personal buildings. And when you take the preps and the grandes écoles, they nonetheless stay primarily locations of socialization for a white bourgeoisie.

In France, the very time period 'Islamophobia' is topic to debate. For what ?

France is a rustic the place we systematically speak about anti-Semitism however the place Islamophobia is denied each by the vast majority of politicians and by numerous media. 20 years in the past, Kofi Annan, then Secretary General of the UN, organized a world convention on Islamophobia. Here, we proceed to debate on the deserves. We are informed – like Caroline Fourest – the concept that it’s a idea invented by Iranian mullahs with the intention of silencing any criticism of Islam and Muslims. It is actually a French exception. Even if the idea is criticized elsewhere, it is just in France that it’s within the majority. Take the conservative David Cameron in Great Britain, he makes use of the time period “Islamophobia” in a banal means, which was popularized in 1997 by the extremely revered suppose tank Runnymede Trust.

There are two keys to explaining it. On the one hand, as Erik Bleich analyzed in a piece revealed in 2003, “Race Politics in Britain and France”, France is traditionally marked by anti-Semitism due to Vichy. Many deputies near resistance fighters or Jews had been deported. After 1945, the anti-racist debate was solely dominated by anti-Semitism. Today, it’s tough to flee from the equation “racism equals anti-Semitism”. Even although the census doesn’t accumulate ethnic or non secular information, one should wonder if the difficulty of Islamophobia isn’t rather more necessary than the difficulty of anti-Semitism in easy demographic phrases.

The different key to understanding is linked to secularism. It was constructed as a secularism of prohibitions solely or virtually solely with regard to Muslims.

Why do they principally select Canada or the United Kingdom? ?

Great Britain has carried out anti-discrimination insurance policies for the reason that mid-Sixties. These are aimed primarily at postcolonial immigrants. Britain was not invaded by the Nazis, it didn’t collaborate with Hitler. She is subsequently not obsessive about the query of anti-Semitism and her method is rather more empirical, pragmatic. In Canada, there was a coverage of middle-class multiculturalism since 1968. In different phrases, if you’re extremely certified, you might be welcome in Canada. Exclusion isn’t based mostly on ethnic, non secular or racial standards however on social standards. Finally, and that is necessary, Canadian multiculturalism doesn’t embody indigenous peoples.

What do you say to your detractors who problem your technique and the representativeness of your examine? ?

It's pretending that it's quantifiable that might be problematic. It isn’t our fault if the French census doesn’t accumulate non secular or ethnic information. There is an inherent choice bias in our examine, however that is the case with many quantitative research. We acknowledge it. I believe our critics aren’t considering the unprecedented nature of this examine. This work has by no means been performed earlier than in France. I’d be actually delighted if in two years, a extra in-depth, extra formidable, higher funded guide or examine would see the sunshine of day.