Le Pen and les Probl

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Thomas Pavel:

"Whether or not young women will one day be allowed to wear the veil in school, Islam in France is here to stay. Integration, however, doesn’t occur by itself. By depressing the economy and thus the demand for labor, the policies of the current government make it harder for immigrants to find work. Meanwhile the tolerance for violence and crime, particularly anti-Semitic incidents, invites the population to attribute these isolated acts to the Arab minority as a whole. Jacques Chirac might want to think about this."

There are polemics about islamic veils in school, but also about the curriculum itself. Some imams and parents want to forbid female children from some sports activities such as swimming. The answer to this is wishful thinking and "forceful" declarations against "communautarisme" that don’t translate into action.
As a side note, in The Song of Roland mentioned in the article, Roland’s brother-in-arm is named Olivier. My mother liked the name when she read it as a kid and decided she’d name her boy likewise. She always reminds me that was a long time before Olivier became a popular name (in fact, one of the names most given to French males in the early 70’s).
04/28/02 update: Liberte, Egalite, Judeophobie.

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