Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Fans and players react online to Arsene Wegner's club departure

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Syria alleged chemical attack: Gunfire delays deployment of weapons inspectors

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Cashing in on local French currencies

Read more

YOU ARE HERE

Life on the canals of northern France

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

What lies ahead for Cuba after the Castros?

Read more

#TECH 24

Discovering and harnessing the power of the sun

Read more

DOWN TO EARTH

Can France bid 'adieu' to popular weedkiller glyphosate?

Read more

#THE 51%

Harmful for your health: When gender bias affects medical diagnosis

Read more

REPORTERS

Africa’s donkeys slaughtered for Chinese ‘miracle elixir’

Read more

IN THE PRESS

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

2018-04-20 United Kingdom

A reflection of our times: More women, more young people in Time 100 list for 2018

IN THE PAPERS - Friday, April 20: The British papers put pressure on Prime Minister Theresa May over her handling of the Windrush scandal, affecting children of Caribbean...

Read more

2018-04-19 Donald Trump

'Badass': Accolades pour in for Southwest pilot who landed plane after engine failure

IN THE PAPERS - Thursday, April 19: We look at reactions to an expected meeting in the coming months between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un. There's much scepticism, though, about...

Read more

2018-04-19 France

Emmanuel Macron in Berlin: Will Europe's superhero succeed?

IN THE PAPERS - Thursday, April 19: In France, ongoing strikes continue to create chaos as students, health professionals and civil servants join the movement to air their...

Read more

2018-04-18 Malta

'Who really killed Daphne Caruana Galizia?'

Wednesday, April 18, 2018: Six months after the Maltese investigative reporter was killed in a car bomb, a team of international journalists vow to uncover the mastermind behind...

Read more

2018-04-18 Cuba

Cuba's power handover: 'End of the Castro era' or 'political theatre'?

Wednesday, April 18, 2018: After nearly 60 years under the Castros, a new president will be taking the reins in Cuba. But is it really a new era? As one Cuban exile writes in the...

Read more