Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

WEB NEWS

Nigerian web users call for end to violence

Read more

FOCUS

Bitcoin in the US: A monetary revolution?

Read more

ENCORE!

Fast cars and slow trains

Read more

WEB NEWS

Chile: online mobilization to help Valparaiso fire victims

Read more

FACE-OFF

François Hollande: France's most unpopular president

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Mansouria Mokhefi, Middle East and North Africa specialist

Read more

LIFESTYLES

Sustainable cuisine

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Google Was Making A Space Elevator And A Hoverboard, But Couldn't Get Them To Work

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

A bitter pill to swallow

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

Comments

COMMENT(S)

 
 
Archives

2014-04-17 Ukraine

Google Was Making A Space Elevator And A Hoverboard, But Couldn't Get Them To Work

INTERNATIONAL PAPERS - Thurs. 17.04.14: International papers focus on the South Korean ferry tragedy, tensions in Ukraine, the presidential election in Algeria and failed...

Read more

2014-04-17 Manuel Valls

A bitter pill to swallow

FRENCH PRESS - Thurs. 17.04.14: French papers focus on Prime Minister Manuel Valls and his 50-billion-euro budget savings plan. The general assessment is that it's superficial...

Read more

2014-04-16 Ukraine

'Call it a caretaker government'

INTERNATIONAL PAPERS - Weds. 16.04.14: International papers focus on the upcoming presidential election in Algeria, divisions in Germany over which side to pick in the Ukraine...

Read more

2014-04-16 North Korea

Back to the future

FRENCH PAPERS - Weds. 16.04.14: Le Figaro suspends reality and imagines what would happen if the 2012 presidential race were held today. The conservative paper predicts that...

Read more

2014-04-15 Vladimir Putin

The gloves are off in the Socialist Party

FRENCH PAPERS - Tues. 15.04.14: French papers react to unrest in Ukraine and the upcoming European elections. The Socialists are afraid of another flop at the ballot box while...

Read more