Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

DEBATE

Greece Takes on Europe: Historic Elections Rock Status Quo (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Greece Takes on Europe: Historic Elections Rock Status Quo (part 1)

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Far-left and far-right celebrate Syriza's victory

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Colombia's Santos hoping for end to FARC conflict 'this year'

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

Fighting terrorism: Does Europe have a plan?

Read more

ENCORE!

Music show: Björk, Charlie Winston and Ray Lema

Read more

FOCUS

Eastern Ukraine dragged deeper into war

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

What would a Syriza victory mean for Greece?

Read more

FOCUS

Set, the new pro-Putin youth movement

Read more

Live from the newsroom, we provide an overview of the stories making the French and international newspaper headlines. From Monday to Friday at 7.20 am and 9.20 am Paris time.

IN THE PAPERS

IN THE PAPERS

Latest update : 2009-12-16

French Minister says Muslims should dress and speak properly

FRENCH PRESS REVIEW: The French Minister for Families, Nadine Morano, yesterday said young Muslims should not speak slang or wear baseball caps backwards if they hope to integrate.

France is currently in the throws of a debate on what it means to be French and what French national identity is, a discussion that many feel has been stirred up by the ruling UMP Party in advance of regional elections as a means of speaking about two reliable right-leaning themes: immigration and integration.

In the context of this national debate, the Minister for Families Nadine Morano yesterday made some incendiary remarks at a public meeting in the east of France. She told those assembled that in order to integrate, Muslim youths should dress and speak properly. “I would prefer if young Muslims did not speak slang (“verlan”) or wear baseball caps backwards,” she remarked. Many are asking how narrow the interpretation of national identity can be if, as Morano sees it, it doesn’t include such basic elements of youth culture as dressing differently and being inventive with language. “Verlan”, the particular kind of French slang Morano referred to, takes ordinary French words and “inverts” them. For instance, “arabe” (Arab) becomes “beur”. Many linguists have pointed to this as an example of how the French language is alive and evolving. Critics and purists see it as a threat, however.

Predictably, the left-leaning press is unimpressed by Morano’s remarks. Liberation says this is just the latest in a series of remarks made by UMP politicians that are racist in nature. Earlier this year, the former Immigration Minister (currently Interior Minister) Brice Hortefeux was caught on camera telling a party member of Arabic origin that ‘one of you is ok but where there are many there is a problem.” The remark was made in jest but was broadly condemned.

Libération’s editorial warns against making a false distinction between being Muslim and being French.


“Of course we can debate what the nation means and what Islam means but not to the extent that it becomes a point-scoring exercise with the Front National (far-right party),” the paper notes.

The regional newspaper L’Est Républicain defends Morano in its editorial, saying the controversial remarks were taken out of context. Morano was merely giving examples of how following certain social codes is essential to integrating, it says.

Other stories in today’s international papers:

Le Figaro
Current suburban train strike is ‘unacceptable’, says this right-leaning paper.

Le Figaro
American Veterinary Association warns children not to kiss frogs, this over fears that the Walt Disney movie “The Princess and the Frog” might encourage the behaviour!


 

By James CREEDON

COMMENT(S)

Archives

2015-01-26 eurozone

'Syriza has opened a breach'

FRENCH PAPERS - Mon. 26.01.15: French papers largely focus on Greece and the victory of the anti-austerity Syriza party in the general election. Communist paper L'Humanité...

Read more

2015-01-26 eurozone

Greece's political earthquake

INTERNATIONAL PAPERS - Mon. 26.01.15: Papers in Greece say a "page has turned" in Greek politics with the victory of the far-left Syriza party in the general election. Papers...

Read more

2015-01-23 King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia

'Saudi King dies, the world shudders'

INTERNATIONAL PAPERS - Fri. 23.01.15: Papers across the world focus on the passing of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia at the age of 90. His death adds another element of...

Read more

2015-01-23 ECB

'Super Mario breaks the bank'

FRENCH PAPERS - Fri. 23.01.15: The spotlight is on European Central Bank President Mario Draghi and his decision to inject at least €1.1 trillion into the ailing eurozone economy...

Read more

2015-01-22 Turkey

'Irony is History's most beautiful weapon'

INTERNATIONAL PAPERS - Thurs. 22.01.15: The Independent interviews Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, who says the "flood of jihadi volunteers" crossing into Syria to fight...

Read more