Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

'New York Post' slammed for publishing ISIS execution images

Read more

DEBATE

Back to Square One?

Read more

DEBATE

Israel-Gaza: Back to Square One?

Read more

DEBATE

Israel-Gaza conflict: 72-hour ceasefire deal sets stage for Cairo talks

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users divided over Darren Wilson

Read more

FOCUS

Spain's El Hierro to become world's first self-powered island

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

A bellwether for what not to do

Read more

ENCORE!

Luc Besson back in action with Scarlett Johansson in 'Lucy'

Read more

FOCUS

Israel's minorities and military service

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

2014-08-20 French politics

A bellwether for what not to do

FRENCH PAPERS - Weds. 20.08.14: French papers focus on the government and the first cabinet meeting since the summer recess. Right-leaning paper Le Figaro has harsh words for the...

Read more

2014-08-20 Syria

'The world’s dictators love the unrest in Ferguson'

INTERNATIONAL PAPERS - Weds. 20.08.14: According to Slate, the world’s dictators love the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri. Egypt, Iran, China and Russia have all expressed their...

Read more

2014-08-19 Turkey

Irish officials probe teen's abortion refusal

INTERNATIONAL PAPERS - Tues. 19.08.14: International papers focus on the continued unrest in Ferguson. Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has called in the National Guard. Will this...

Read more

2014-08-19 French politics

Police investigate Paris ring road robbers

FRENCH PAPERS - Tues. 19.08.14: French papers focus on the government ahead of tomorrow’s cabinet meeting, the first since the summer recess. Also, police investigate the...

Read more

2014-08-18 athletics

French economy: 'And if Hollande was wrong?'

The right-wing papers L'Opinion and Le Figaro hammer François Hollande for his economic failures. The latest figures show growth flatlining for a second quarter and budget...

Read more