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.

Islam in European Cities

Session 1: Islam, Factor of Urban Integration?

  • Opening Remarks and Introduction by Jean-Paul Willaime, EPHE, Director of GSRL (CNRS-EPHE).
  • Sean McLoughlin, University of Leeds, “Islam as a Resource for Urban Integration in Mannigham, a District of Bradford.
  • Nico Landman, Utrecht University, “Islamic Centre or Playground: a Contested Mosque Project in the Dutch Town of Deventer”
  • Jocelyne Cesari, CNRS-GSRL, “Islam in Marseille / Islam in Toulouse: Two Different Forms of Islamic Leadership in the Public Space”
  • Session 2: Immigration, ethnicity and Islam in urban policies in Europe

  • Ottavia Schmidt di Frieberg, University of Trieste, and Chantal Saint-Blancat, University of Padova, “Why and How Islam is not always at Stake in Urban Space: the Difference between Turin and Milan”
  • Valérie Amiraux, CURAPP-CNRS, “Islam and Citizenship in Amiens and Belfort”
  • The Social building of Muslim Communities in Europe

    A Roundtable By The Network On Comparative Research On Islam And Muslims In Europe (NOCRIME)

    Session 1: The Social Building of Muslim Communities in Europe: Internal Factors

    Opening remarks and Introduction by Jean Baubérot, President of EPHE (Sorbonne) and Director of GSRL (CNRS-EPHE) and Jean-Paul Willaime, EPHE, Associate Director of GSRL (CNRS-EPHE).

    CHAIR : Dr Martin Van Bruinessen, Institute for the Study of Islam in the Modern World [ISIM] Leiden.

  • Jorgen Baek Simonsen, Copenhague University , “Social Networks of Muslims in Denmark and Interactions with the Muslim World”
  • Nico Landman, Utrecht University, “Social and Religious variety of the Muslim Presence in the Netherlands”
  • Sean McLoughlin, Leeds University, “British-Muslims Today: National Recognition, Local Polarisation?”
  • Gema Martin-Munoz, University Autonoma of Madrid, “Cultural and Religious Dimensions of the Moroccan Immigration in Spain”
  • Ottavia Schmidt di Frieberg, University of Trieste, “Transnational Networks of Muslim Migrants in Italy”
  • Discussion led by Pierre-Jean Luizard, GSRL (CNRS-EPHE) and Hocine Benkheira, GSRL (CNRS-EPHE)

    Session 2: The Building of Muslim Communities in Europe: External Constraints

    CHAIR: Jean-Paul Willaime, EPHE, Associate Director of GSRL (CNRS-EPHE)

  • Jocelyne Cesari, GSRL (CNRS-EPHE) and Harvard University, “New forms of Muslim Leadership in France”
  • Chantal Saint-Blancat, University of Padova, “Social Construction of Islam in the Italian Public Sphere”
  • Valerie Amiraux, CURAPP/CNRS and European University Institute, “The Production of Discourses on Islam in Western Europe”
  • DISCUSSION of the Session and General Discussion led by Tariq Ramadan, University of Fribourg and Olivier Roy, CNRS.

    CONCLUDING REMARKS