French social scientist claims that secularism important to French Muslims

Philippe Portier, director of the Groupe Sociétés, Religions et Laïcité at the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Études (EPHE), claims that in France today there is a “secularism of integration” which serves Muslims.

Portier notes how in his response to the minaret ban, French President Sarkozy emphasized how religious traditions work as social integrative forces. Portier also notes the different status of Catholicism and Islam in the Republic, and the factors which privilege the former.

Moreover, with the exception of government appointed groups like the French Council of the Muslim Faith (CFCM), Islam maintains few “pastoral” organizations to help guide the faithful in France.