NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


May 27, 2005

Islamic extremism and antisemitism are permeating France's educational system, according to a "leaked" report from the country's Ministry of Education But officials are turning a blind eye to the problems resulting from radical Islamization, says Olivier Guitta of the Weekly Standard.

Education official Jean-Pierre Obin and a team of inspectors examined 61 academic and vocational high schools in areas with a high concentration of religious and ethnic minorities. They found:

  • Neighborhoods surrounding the schools are undergoing a rapid shift toward Islamization; many have witnessed the flight of "French" residents and "European" shops.
  • Teenaged girls are prohibited by the "religious police" -- informal groups of Muslim males -- from playing sports, wearing makeup or skirts, and going out on weekends.
  • Students are often converted to Islam under duress and are pressured to observe Ramadan, the month in which Muslims fast during the day.
  • Jewish students are harassed and assaulted, mainly by Muslim students; but teachers are reluctant to object to the behavior, passing it off as simply a part of the youth culture.

Furthermore, though many Muslim students are French citizens, they perceive a gap between the French and themselves. They reject French history and philosophy, frequently deny the holocaust and protest the Crusades, forcing teachers to censor their material. In fact, radical groups oppose assimilation and prefer instead to establish Islam as a counterculture within France and as part of an international Islamic society, says Orbin.

Yet the schools that are attempting to accommodate radical behavior are the ones that are experiencing the most problems. With Muslims comprising over 10 percent of the population, it's time for a "no compromise" policy, says Obin.

Source: Olivier Guitta, "The Islamization of French Schools: A disturbing report is leaked," Weekly Standard, Vol. 010, No. 32, May 9, 2005.


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