Tuesday, August 29, 2006

More French Exceptionalism?

[Use Don Adams voice:] Would you believe that French Muslims are among the happiest Muslims in the Western World?

A study by the Pew Research Center suggests that the riots of Fall 2005 don't reflect a failure of the French model of assimilation, nor do they reflect special dissatisfaction among French Muslims for their place in society--at least vis-à-vis other western nations.

Based on poll results, French Muslims 1) have the same concerns of Muslims in other countries, 2) although they are more likely to regard unfavorably the US and the War on Terror, they are more likely to regard them favorably as well, 3) more suspicious of the ascent of anti-Israeli politics (a.k.a. Islamo-Fascism); 4) more likely to feel at home in the West. Here are some charts:

French Muslims appear to be moreopinionatedd, more skeptical, and generally more accepting of the values of their nation than their brethren in other countries. Are French Muslims more French than Muslim? Perhaps, although the conclusion of the pollsters--that "the French need take no integrationist lessons from their European neighbors"--is dubious. French Muslims may feel more French than British Muslims feel British, but the question of how minorities feel about their citizenship and nationality has, in the past, produced highly deceptive results. Those who claim to be true French may have more to say about how integrated French Muslims really are.


At 11:17 AM, Blogger Gator said...

I wonder what the percentages would be if one was to query members of various religious denominations in the United States, asking them if they considered themselves an American first, or a Christian first?

I dare say that members of some denominations would respond overwhelmingly that they were Christians first. Should we be worried?

Only to the extent that one choice is mutually exclusive of the other, which most often is not the case -- here or in Europe (and probably even less so in the Middle East).

At 11:30 AM, Blogger Nathanael said...

If you asked the question of most Americans, would they see the two categories as mutually exclusive. I think most would, first, see their Christian values embedded in their American nationality and, two, choose to avoid appearing schismatic. The subjectiveness of the question "how do you feel?" allows the respondant to take liberties with the question, interpreting the categories as they would, preserving the relationship between those categories as they see fit (rather than separating them). If you asked an American Jew, or an African American, or ... . The majority gets more leeway than the rest.


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