France must reach out to disillusioned young Muslims, says director of The Class

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France must reach out to disillusioned young Muslims, says director of The Class


Palme d’Or-winner says country’s challenge is to start dialogue and maintain secular principles




The large numbers of children in mainly Muslim areas of France who refused to observe a minute’s silence for the victims of the Paris terror attacks shows that the country has “serious work to do to avoid a catastrophe”, warns Laurent Cantet, director of an award-winning film set in a multi-ethnic Paris school.

Cantet, who won the Palme d’Or at the 2008 Cannes film festival for The Class– which starred real pupils and staff from a secondary school in the capital’s 20th arrondissement – said he was “not surprised” at the reaction of some young Muslims to the murders of 17 people by three Islamist gunmen, who also died. “There is such a huge social gulf now between these young people and the rest of society,” he said. “It can’t be bridged in a minute’s silence.” Cantet said France had to “look at what’s behind that reaction – at the ghettoes we’ve created, the contempt we’ve instilled. For some of these young people, the only path we’ve left open is a kind of horribly deformed version of their religion they see as a kind of identity card.”

The education ministry said it had recorded “roughly 200 incidents” in schools during the minute’s silence held in public buildings on 8 January, the day after Chérif and Saïd Kouachi killed 12 people – including two policemen – at the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. The magazine had previously courted controversy by caricaturing the prophet Muhammad.

Education minister Najat Vallaud-Belkacem invited teachers to “respond to students’ needs” by discussing what had happened and debating whether their class wanted to observe a minute’s non-obligatory silence. Schools were places where “freedom of thought and speech … and understanding of others andreciprocal tolerance” should be taught, she said. But many classes in predominantly Muslim areas rejected the suggestion. At one primary school in Seine-Saint-Denis, more than 80% of pupils refused to comply; teachers reported some pupils saying that Charlie Hebdo’s staff “deserved what they got”.

In Lille, a 13-year-old boy threatened to “take out with a Kalashnikov” a teacher who asked his class to be quiet for the remembrance. Unsurprisingly, some schools ducked the issue. An English teacher in a northern Paris secondary school told France 24 TV his headteacher warned against holding a minute’s silence so as to “avoid confrontations”. The decision “completely shocked me,” he said. “The rest of France is in mourning and at our school it was as if nothing had happened.” A teacher in the capital’s 13th arrondissement was asked: “Miss, may I not observe the minute’s silence. I don’t want to remember people like that.” While another was overheard to say: “They were asking for it. They reaped what they’d sown with all that provocation.”

Based on a part-fictional memoir,Entre les Murs, by François Bégaudeau, who spent a year at the Françoise Dolto high school in northern Paris, The Class chronicles a year in the life of an idealistic young teacher and his largely disillusioned and demotivated class as they face off before reaching some kind of understanding.

In the wake of France’s worst terrorist attacks in half a century and the reaction of some young Muslims, Cantet said the country needed “real dialogue; real, in-depth social work; real education. We have to say that religions can exist, but that there are certain fundamental principles, principles that guarantee the world’s equilibrium.”

The film-maker said: “We have to bring these young people to confront their thoughts, still so partially formed, still subjected to so much interference from so many different places …”France’s challenge, he said, would be to “establish that dialogue – really do that work” while still maintaining its core republican model of integration, whose deeply held secular principles some have blamed for the isolation and discrimination felt by many Muslims in France. “We absolutely cannot abandon that model; it’s part of our DNA,” he said. “But what we have to do is live it more intelligently, more sensitively. We have badly abandoned these estates in the banlieues.

“We have to find a way for them to make sense of their lives, without turning to … this – even if these attacks were fascist, almost nothing to do with Islam. We have created a fertile breeding ground for extremisms, for radicalisation. And we have to change ourselves. We have to stop stigmatising. Otherwise we’re headed for disaster.”


Source: France must reach out to disillusioned young Muslims, says director of The Class | World news | The Guardian

Figures. Another liberal film maker with a sticky sweet idea that won't work. Reach out. Well good luck with that, but I think you're looking at disaster any way you go right now. This whole Islamic extremist thing is not going to go away until it's put in a grave; but instead it seems the whole world would rather walk on eggshells.
 
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France, and Europe as a whole, certainly needs to do something. However, I am not sure "reaching out" will do a thing to help. Sadly, I think the only realistic solution will involve the use of bullets.
 
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Islamophobia is rampant in Europe and it's almost become a disease. If only the likes of ISIS, Taliban and Boko Haram would stop giving Muslims such a bad reputation. Everywhere, there are narrow-minded people who revel in hasty generalizations. You can't just say "reach out" without providing a concrete to-do list. The hardest part is always the "how." Schools should do something so that children can unlearn all the bad things they've heard about Muslims. That's one concrete way to do it.
 
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We're far from curing racial profiling, especially when it was heavily done by US during 2000-2010 period. But Europe needs to properly inform that muslim =/= radical islamist.
 
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I think schools are hypocrits on points like this. They want to tell kids that freedom of speech is the most important, no matter if it's insulting or a provocation, but the kids have strict guidelines in schools: if they ever insult someone or provocate their classmates, they are punished and forced to apologize and to never do it again. It is troubling that kids talk of violence and crime like this, but this is a behaviour I've seen on many kids, they can be very excessive. To isolate this as "Islamist extremism" to be is oversimplifying it. These kids are carrying out thoughts they were taught --- by the violence in society and in movies ("kicking ass" and "taking revenge" is such a normal theme of cinema, too), by the rules they are taught, and of course the Islamic principles are at play here, but let's not shield ourselves, our own Western mentalities are part of the problem, tooo.
 
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I think some of the Muslim children think the ISIS are fighting for freedom and are the ones who will save them and are misguided by them and not realizing that they are just using people for their own needs. They need to wake up and, realize the rebel groups are not heroes they may have done some good deeds for their people king of like crime lords or drug lords they do some good but are not good people really. Discrimination and racial hatred needs to end than all can realize that overcoming that will end these hatred among people that are going on.
 
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Islamophobia is rampant in Europe and it's almost become a disease. If only the likes of ISIS, Taliban and Boko Haram would stop giving Muslims such a bad reputation. Everywhere, there are narrow-minded people who revel in hasty generalizations. You can't just say "reach out" without providing a concrete to-do list. The hardest part is always the "how." Schools should do something so that children can unlearn all the bad things they've heard about Muslims. That's one concrete way to do it.
I recently read an article about a ISIS fighter who had preached Wahhabism at a local mosque, just five minutes away from where I live. Many Muslim parents are scared of sending their children to mosques just because of how rampant radical Islam actually is in Sweden. It isn't just some fraction of the Muslim population. Europe accepts hundreds of thousands of refugees and when most of these refugees don't have any identification it's incredibly easy for anyone to immigrate.
 
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I'm sorry but they aren't "
disillusioned young Muslims" because they aren't Muslims. You can interpret a religion the way you want. What they do isn't Islamic.
 
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I'm sorry but they aren't "
disillusioned young Muslims" because they aren't Muslims. You can interpret a religion the way you want. What they do isn't Islamic.
Muslims are killed, mutilated, and whipped in the name of Islam everyday. I think the greatest disservice you can do for Muslims is not admitting that Islam does have a big problem. Who decides if you are a Muslim? When ISIS kills in the name of Allah, are they not Muslim? When Saudi Arabia whips bloggers for insulting Islam, are they not Muslim? Ignoring the problem will not make it go away.
 
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I recently read an article about a ISIS fighter who had preached Wahhabism at a local mosque, just five minutes away from where I live. Many Muslim parents are scared of sending their children to mosques just because of how rampant radical Islam actually is in Sweden. It isn't just some fraction of the Muslim population. Europe accepts hundreds of thousands of refugees and when most of these refugees don't have any identification it's incredibly easy for anyone to immigrate.
Then I guess Europe should learn it's lesson. It's great that they're giving refugees a chance to start life anew but perhaps they can start thinking about the safety of everyone too. Documenting these refugees and giving them identification cards would be able to improve a host country's security.
 
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Then I guess Europe should learn it's lesson. It's great that they're giving refugees a chance to start life anew but perhaps they can start thinking about the safety of everyone too. Documenting these refugees and giving them identification cards would be able to improve a host country's security.
Yes, it is great that Europe is giving refugees a chance to start a new life. But if the refugees who enter Europe doesn't have any identification they could literally be anyone. I have heard of ISIS fighters who return to their European countries to get medical care and then return to Syria just to kill again. Luckily Europe is starting to crack down on ISIS fighters by cancelling their passports and what not.
 
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I did not realize the problem was this extreme. it was especially scary that a child would threaten a teacher with a Kalishnikov for trying to show someone who was murdered a bit of respect. I do think the point was very clear even before I heard that, though. I was in Paris last year filming a documentary. It was about a Vietnamese person and the amount of open racism I heard on the streets against Asians and, for some reason Muslims, triggered by our filming made me sick. I think the French society needs to work at opening its society to more cultural influence and not try to alienate those who are already there.
 
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Reach out is the right expression, I mean, if people are disillusioned or in trouble they just might become extremists or turn into directions they wouldn't normally if they had support from society.
 
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France, and Europe as a whole, certainly needs to do something. However, I am not sure "reaching out" will do a thing to help. Sadly, I think the only realistic solution will involve the use of bullets.
Sadly, ideologies are bulletproof.

Anyone can become radicalized and pick up a weapon. This is a battle won by teaching western values and integrating Muslims. You don't see a lot of Christians living in a first world country call to arms.
 

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