Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

Ghanaian President Mahama concedes defeat to opposition leader Afuko-Addo

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Trump's TV Career Continues

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

President Park Impeached, Ghana's High Stakes Election (part 1)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Aleppo Offensive, Renzi Resigns, Trump's Cards (part 2)

Read more

ENCORE!

South Korea: An inside look at the K-pop wave

Read more

#THE 51%

Diving back in: Offering support for French mothers returning to work

Read more

REPORTERS

Chaotic post-hurricane relief efforts in Haiti

Read more

PEOPLE & PROFIT

Cash crunch casualties: India's wedding industry suffers from currency changes

Read more

FOCUS

Ivory Coast faces uphill battle against counterfeit medicine

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

An overview of the stories making the French and international newspaper headlines. From Monday to Friday live at 7.20 am and 9.20 am Paris time.

Latest update : 2009-12-09

Controversy over Sarkozy’s stand on national identity

FRENCH PRESS REVIEW: France’s Immigration Minister recently called for a debate on French national identity. Yesterday, Nicolas Sarkozy made his views on the matter known in Le Monde. His article has divided France’s newspapers along predictable lines.

Sarkozy wrote a column in yesterday’s Le Monde about national identity and the relations with Muslims. This morning’s editorials react in quite a varying manner. For the right-leaning Le Figaro, Sarkozy’s article was positive. He avoided the habitual hypocrisy which marks the public discussion of integration and national identity. It was Sarkozy after all who set up the French Council for the Muslim Faith (CFCM) which took Islam out of its clandestine place in French society, the paper notes.

The paper praises Sarkozy’s recognition of France having ‘Christian roots’. This again is honest and avoids hypocrisy, says Le Figaro.

For left-leaning Libération, the speech was full of niceties on the surface but the use of terms such as ‘ceux qui arrivent’ – those who arrive (in France) – is implicitly discriminatory. Muslims contributed to France’s efforts in WW1 and WW2. Muslims helped rebuild France from the 1940s onwards. Most Muslims in France were born here and never ‘arrived’ from anywhere else, the paper says.

Meanwhile the communist paper l’Humanité is even more damning, saying the speech showed dangerous strains of neo-nationalism.

Other stories in today's French papers:

Le Parisien
French champions of bad driving

Le Figaro
Viagra for women?

20minutes
Johnny Halliday hospitalized in Los Angeles
 

By James CREEDON

COMMENT(S)

Archives

2016-12-09 Boris Johnson

Is Boris Johnson Britain's most undiplomatic chief diplomat?

IN THE INTERNATIONAL PAPERS - Friday, December 9: Boris Johnson finds himself in hot water after criticizing British ally Saudi Arabia. There's also a lot of criticism over the...

Read more

2016-12-09 France

Paris pollution: 'Tomorrow we stop breathing'

IN THE FRENCH PAPERS - Friday, December 9: What can France do to combat a crippling pollution problem? Traffic in Paris is restricted for a fourth day as the city and other parts...

Read more

2016-12-08 Paris

Paris pollution: 'What are we waiting for?'

FRENCH PAPERS - Thurs. 08.12.16: France is facing its worst pollution spike in years, as Paris and other cities are cloaked in smog. La Croix asks "What are we waiting for?" amid...

Read more

2016-12-08 Donald Trump

Donald Trump named Time magazine's Person of the Year

INTERNATIONAL PAPERS - Thurs. 08.12.16: Donald Trump has been named "Person of the Year" by Time magazine. It's a controversial pick, but The Independent reminds us that far more...

Read more

2016-12-07 education

French educational system 'as mediocre as always'

FRENCH PAPERS - Weds. 07.12.16: France ranks 26th on the OECD's most recent study of student assessment - neither worse nor better than its 2013 score. Right-wing daily Le Figaro...

Read more