Soeren Kern, Hudson New York, October 10, 2011
France’s decrepit city suburbs are becoming ‘separate Islamic societies’ cut off from the state, according to a major new study that examines the spread of Islam in France.
Muslim immigrants are increasingly rejecting French values and identity and instead are immersing themselves in Islam, according to the report, which also warns that Islamic Sharia law is rapidly displacing French civil law in many parts of suburban Paris.
The 2,200-page report, “Banlieue de la République” (Suburbs of the Republic), is the result of a one-year research effort into the four “i’s” that comprise the heart of the debate over French national identity: Islam, immigration, identity and insecurity.
The report was commissioned by the influential French think tank L’Institut Montaigne, and directed by Gilles Kepel, a well-known political scientist and specialist in the Muslim world, together with five other French researchers.
The authors of the report show that France, which has between five and six million Muslims (France has the largest Muslim population in European Union), is on the brink of a major social explosion because of the failure of Muslims to integrate into French society.
The report also shows how the problem is being exacerbated by radical Muslim leaders who are promoting the social marginalization of Muslim immigrants in order to create a parallel Muslim society in France that is ruled by Sharia law.
The study says that Muslim religious institutions and practices are increasingly displacing those of the state and the French Republic, which has a strong secular tradition.
The researchers also looked into the reasons behind the 2005 riots, which they said had called into question modern France’s founding myth, namely “the implicit shared belief that the nation was always able to integrate people.”
Islamic values are replacing those of a French Republic which has failed to deliver on its promise of “equality,” the report says, and the residents of the suburbs increasingly do not see themselves as French.