Report on Muslims in Marseilles, France Released

A report carried out by Vincent Geisser and Françoise Lorcerie under the auspices of the “At Home Europe” program has been released. The report examines the Muslim population in Marseilles within six sectors: education, lodging, employment, health, safety, political participation, and social identity and the media. Approximately 30% of the city’s population is said to be Muslim. A similar report about Paris is expected soon.


French scholar forecasts increased violence against Islam

July 27, 2011


French researcher Professor Vincent Geisser has said that terrorism attacks in Europe are a result of the climate against Muslims. Geisser, who said that Europe expresses its societal ills through Islamophobia, warned that there is a risk that Norwegian-like individual acts against Islam might become widespread in Europe. According to Geisser, professor at the Aix Political Sciences Institute of France, populist right-wing politicians like French President Nicolas Sarkozy also has a role in legitimization of anti-Islam rhetoric.

Marseille mosque construction stirs resentment

Plans to build a grand mosque in France’s second-largest city of Marseille have set off fears. “I’m going to bomb it when it opens,” an older French man told The New York Times Monday, December 28, wishing to be unnamed.

Plans are underway to build a $33-million grand mosque in the port city in April 2010. “It’s a good symbol of assimilation,” said Noureddine Cheikh, the head of the Marseille Mosque Association.

The new worship house will have a minaret that would flash a beam of purple light, instead of Adhan, for a couple of minarets to call for prayers five times per day.

But the mosque plans have stirred opposition from far-rightists in the city, where Muslims make up a quarter of its more than 1.5 million population.

The far-right Regional Front and local politicians have filed lawsuits to block the Muslim building.

Analysts agree that the Marseille mosque opposition reflects the growing anti-Muslim sentiments in the country and across Europe. “Today in Europe the fear of Islam crystallizes all other fears,” said Vincent Geisser, a scholar of Islam and immigration at the French National Center for Scientific Research. “(Islam) is a box in which everyone expresses their fears.”

CNRS Researcher Vincent Geisser Responds to Critics in Le Monde

Vincent Geisser, researcher at the CNRS accused of radicalizing Islam responds here to his critics, particularly Caroline Fourest’s explanation of the controversy around the “radical” nature of his research. Libération interviews Joseph Illand, in charge of internal security at the CNRS for his take on the controversy. Illand describes the ambiguity as to whether the contentious email was private or public.

The Case of Vincent Geisser, Scholar of Islam in the CNRS, divides the University Community

Written by Esther Benbassa, director of the EPHE (École Pratique des Hautes Études), this article claims that the case of French academic Vincent Geisser, currently under investigation for a “lack of obligatory reserve” is dividing the French university system. Detractors claim Geisser is an Islamicist, apologetic for the extremist positions he studies; his defenders point to the necessity of free speech in the academy.

French CNRS Researcher on Islam Comes Under Fire

French researcher Vincent Geisser, specialist of Muslims and the Muslim World in Aix-en-Provence at the CNRS (National Center of Scientific Research) will go before a disciplinary jury on June 29th for a recent controversy about an email he sent claiming research on Islam is persecuted by the national funding and research center.