19 April 2016
In 2003, the French government set up a centralised body to represent the interests of its Muslim citizens, similar to existing bodies representing its Jewish and Catholic people.
But the move did not work, said French researchers at a Singapore forum yesterday on integrating Muslim minorities in a multi-ethnic and multi-religious community.
Part of the reason was that Islam does not have a clergy or tradition of a central religious authority.
Worse, the move sparked resentment, with many French Muslims feeling that the state was trying to control the religion, said Dr Haoues Seniguer, a political scientist and an expert on Islam from Institut d’Etudes Politiques in Lyon.
… But some Muslims, said Islamic scholar Mohammad Alami Musa, may feel deprived of job opportunities in sensitive areas in the public sector even though the state disagrees that there is discrimination.
Some Muslims here view it as “a loyalty issue”, said Mr Alami, who heads the Studies in Inter-Religious Relations in Plural Societies Programme at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies.
SRP / Online / Print
Last updated on 19/04/2016