Muslim diaspora in Western Europe: The Islamic headscarf (Hijab), the media and Muslims' integration in France

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The hijab, an Arabic word that is related to Islamic proper dressing, has become a buzzword in contemporary French popular discourse. In the Islamic tradition, both men and women are required to dress modestly. Women traditionally cover their hair, a practice called hijab. This hijab (Islamic scarf) seems to have created a controversy in France in recent years, and the French media have exploited the matter even further. Even scholars seem to have abstracted the cultural/ religious symbol from its proper context. The controversy of the hijab in France therefore has actually revealed more about the character of the French society/ mentality than about the Muslim community. I intend to use the controversy over the hijab to question and challenge the conventional reading of the integration of the Muslim Maghrebin people into secular French society. I will explore the concept of integration and the way this integration functioned as a source of privilege as well as a source of discrimination. I will use the debate over the hijab to further investigate the interplay of religion, immigration and citizenship in France.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)293-308
Number of pages16
JournalCitizenship Studies
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 9 2002


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Political Science and International Relations

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