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Muslims of France

What challenges have generations of immigrants faced in a country torn between secularism and religious diversity?

Last updated: 09 Aug 2014 14:10
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Filmmaker: Karim Miské

As issues of immigration and integration raise Europe's political temperature, this three-part series examines the history of Muslim immigration to France - a country where debate continues to rage over how to reconcile a long-standing tradition of secularism with religious diversity.

Today, there are an estimated five million Muslims living in France. A century ago, they were referred to as "colonials". During the 1960s, they were known as "immigrants". Today, they are "citizens". But how have the challenges facing each generation of immigrants changed?

Muslims of France: Part 1 - Colonials 

Many Muslims would die for France during the First and Second World Wars, but did France recognise their sacrifices?

The first part of the series tells the story of the 5,000 Muslims who by 1904 were working on the shop floors of Paris, in the soap factories of Marseilles and in the coalfields of the north; of the Muslim soldiers who fought and died for France during the First World War; and the Muslim members of the resistance who helped liberate Paris in 1944. Born as North Africans, many would die for France. But how much did post-war France care about their sacrifices?

Muslims of France: Part 2 - Immigrants

How a generation of Muslims abandoned their parents' dreams of returning home and began building their lives in France.

The second part of the series explores post-Second World War immigration and reveals a generation of Muslims who, far from expecting to one day return home, began building their lives and communities in France.

Muslims of France: Part 3 - Citizens

What challenges face the young Muslims who grew up in France at a time of economic crisis?

The third and final part of the series tells the stories of the young Muslims who grew up in France and entered adulthood at a time of economic crisis, massive unemployment and rampant social problems.

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Source:
Al Jazeera
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