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France’s recent decision to ban the wearing of traditional Muslim headscarves in public schools — a law widely perceived in the Muslim community as an undemocratic expression of “Islamophobia” — has increased tensions between the French Republic and its largest minority population, numbering about five million people. WIDE ANGLE explores this conflict in the town of Dammarie-les-Lys, a racially diverse, working-class community on the outskirts of Paris, where young Muslim women face a choice to obey the ban – or flout it. Also featured is the local high school principal who, as a member of the commission charged with reviewing the use of religious symbols in public life, voted for the ban against headscarves. In nearby Evry, we see the rector of the grand mosque leading Friday prayers and conducting the conversion of a young French man to Islam. Europe’s Muslim population has doubled in the last decade, with the largest numbers settling in France. Their presence is challenging traditional French notions of nationhood and citizenship, and their increasingly vocal demands for integration and recognition — on their own terms — is creating a crisis in the republic. “Young, Muslim, and French” reveals the hopes, frustrations, and political aspirations of second- and third-generation French-born Muslims and explores their potential to alter the landscape of France’s national identity.

European Muslim Unemployment by Heather Biebel, Baylor School Chattanooga, TN (2006)

Grade: 12

This lesson plan is designed for a one-semester economics class. It complements a macroeconomic policy unit and follows a lesson on the introduction of four macroeconomic policy issues: growth, the business cycle, inflation and unemployment.

Ramadhan in France by Ramadhanzone

The following lesson plans, presentations, and other outreach are a product of the West European Studies National Resource Center Grants and Outreach programs.

Islam in Deutschland

Muslims in France

Lesson plan developed by Cynthia McNulty, Oakland Catholic High School

Grade Level: Advanced Placement World History

Lesson Plan

Muslim Women in France

Level: High School

Muslim Women in France

Les Femmes Musulmanes en France


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