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France and Islam: Identity, Politics and Geopolitics

France and Islam: Identity, Politics and Geopolitics

November 30, 2020, 4 pm Arabia Standard Time (UTC+3)

Register on Zoom here.


  • François Burgat, Senior Research Fellow at the French National Centre for Scientific Research
  • Jocelyne Cesari. Visiting Professor of Religion, Violence, and Peacebuilding, Harvard Divinity School
  • Rim-Sarah Alouane, Researcher and PhD Candidate in Comparative Law, University Toulouse Capitole
  • Online Moderator: Galip Dalay, Nonresident Fellow, Brookings Doha Center

France’s contentious policy on the public practice of Islam has struck multiple identity and political fault lines, not only in France or Europe, but also across the Muslim world. What was essentially a domestic French political debate has morphed into a global debate on relations between state and religion, liberalism and secularism, and the West and Islam/Muslim-majority countries. The intensifying controversy in France comes amid growing populist calls for limiting migration, especially from Muslim countries, and ongoing government initiatives that would deepen the securitization of Islam in the country. President Macron’s rhetoric has dovetailed with France’s foreign policy toward the Middle East’s ideological and geopolitical cleavages, ensuring the amplification of reactions abroad. While the public reaction in the Middle East has been largely uniform, official reactions have exposed existing divisions and conflicts on regional affairs.

The Brookings Doha Center invites you to attend a webinar on France’s evolving policy on the public and political manifestations of Islam. Among other topics, the webinar will address the following questions: What are the domestic and foreign policy drivers of France’s new policy on Islam and Islamism? How is this policy shaping identity debates on Islam and Muslims in the West? What does this policy tell us about populism, nativism, and multiculturalism in France in particular and the West in general? And what will be the geopolitical implications of this new policy in the Middle East and the Muslim world?

IMPORTANT: For English language use, the English interpretation channel and click on “Mute Original Audio.”

Kindly note that there is a maximum capacity to join this webinar

The discussion will include a Question and Answer session.

All attendees will have the chance to submit questions via the Q&A option in the Zoom webinar and these can be submitted anonymously during the time allocated for Q&A.

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