Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

International Francophone Games kick off in Abidjan

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Iran open to dialogue with Saudis, says top diplomat

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Spicer bows out of White House

Read more

FOCUS

Iraq's Mosul: Rebuilding a city fractured by sectarian mistrust

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Bistrot or bust? Why France's famed cafés are disappearing

Read more

REPORTERS

Video: Afghans live in fear as kidnappings soar

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Kenya court rules Dubai firm can print presidential ballots

Read more

ENCORE!

Omar El Akkad's 'American War': A tale of US dystopia

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Exxon sues US over $2m fine for violating Russia sanctions

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 : 2009-12-16

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

2017-07-21 Malaysia

'Too sexy for Malaysia': Hit single 'Despacito' stirs controversy

INTERNATIONAL PAPERS, Fri. 21.07.17: The New York Times accuses Donald Trump of showing "contempt for the rule of law", after he publicly criticised Attorney General Jeff...

Read more

2017-07-21 Emmanuel Macron

Is this the end of Emmanuel Macron's honeymoon period?

IN THE FRENCH PAPERS, Fri. 21.07.17: Emmanuel Macron faces criticism after the resignation of France's top general. Right-wing daily Le Figaro says the French president appears...

Read more

2017-07-20 OJ Simpson

From footballer to inmate: Will OJ Simpson be released?

IN THE WORLD PAPERS - Thursday, July 20: In the United States, OJ Simpson faces a parole board and could be freed as early as October. Also, Donald Trump decides to end a CIA...

Read more

2017-07-20 Emmanuel Macron

Macron and the military: Has power gone to his head?

IN THE FRENCH PAPERS - Thursday, July 20: We look at reactions to the very public spat between French President Emmanuel Macron and Pierre de Villiers, the head of the military,...

Read more

2017-07-19 Donald Trump

Shopping centre security robot 'commits suicide' out of boredom

IN THE FRENCH PAPERS - Wednesday, July 19: We look at reactions after the White House reveals that Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin met "informally" over dinner at the G20 summit....

Read more