Two new books out in France: profession imam and pari de civilization

Tareq Oubrou, imam in Bordeaux, has published a new book on his vision of “Occidental Islam” in Profession Imam (Albin Michel, 2009). Raised in Morocco in a non-practicing family, fifty-year old Oubrou claims that this Islam is capable of secularization theologically-speaking. He advocates a “minority Shariah” adapted to French laicite, wherein in the Western world Muslims make their faith less publicly visible.

In Pari de civilization (Seuil, 2009), writer and university professor Abdelwahab Meddeb calls for a reinterpretation of the Qur’an, notably that it is a direct revelation from God. Renegotiating this point allows for a modernization and neutralization of Islam in the public sphere.

Bordeaux Imam Tareq Oubrou calls for integration of Muslims in France

In his new book Profession imâm (“The Imam’s Profession”, Albin Michel, 2009) Tareq Oubrou, theologian and Imam in Bordeaux, argues that “Muslims must adapt their practices to French society.” Oubrou claims that the privatization of religion in France encourages Muslims to emphasize their faiths, contributing to their social marginalization. He points to how Muslim women in France are reduced to their hijabs, which are not cultural objects or sacred symbols. Each Muslim, he concludes, should have the opportunity to voice his or her own interpretation of the Qur’an, and dress accordingly.