Video Duration 25 minutes 00 seconds
From: Inside Story

Can Islam be integrated with French secularism?

Government ministers are speaking to Muslim leaders about conforming to the French secular system.

The killing of hundreds of French citizens over the past two years in attacks claimed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) is leading to much debate about the future of Islam in France.

The attacks are also causing a backlash for five million French Muslims.

They say Islamophobia is evident in the burkini ban for Muslim women wearing their swimwear on French beaches.

Other Muslims say they have been refused service in French restaurants and coffee shops.

The issue is high on the agenda in the run-up to the French presidential election next year.

Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve has met Muslim leaders, civil groups and government officials to discuss “French Islam”, a version of the religion meant to reconcile Muslim and French values.

But is that possible? And how are politics contributing to the debate over the future of Islam in France?

Presenter: Adrian Finighan


Renaud Girard – Chief foreign correspondent, Le Figaro newspaper.

Samia Hathroubi – French Muslim human rights activist.

Francois Gemenne – Research fellow at the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations.