A French appeals court upheld this week a ruling that denied an Algerian woman citizenship because she refused to shake the hand of a French official, according to The Local. The woman cited “religious beliefs” for not shaking the official’s hand. The appeals court defended the decision not to grant citizenship because the woman, who is married to a French man since 2010, had “not assimilated into the French community.”
The most recent example of questionable “French assimilation” is not the only one that we could cite. Last year, a French court ordered a store in Paris run by a Muslim to close because it refused to sell pork and alcohol.
After the terrorist attacks of 2016, some cities in southern France banned the use of burkinis. Remember the picture of the Muslim women on the beach forced to take off her burkini by French police officials?
Below are some tweets from 2016 that highlight the absurdity of such bans.
One of the most prized values of our way of life in Europe, and which the court overruling of the Algerian woman’s appeal exposes as hypocritical, is that European nationalism, deeply embedded in the exploitation of minorities here and abroad through colonization, continues to be the rule.
The crimes committed by Europe in the exploitation, genocide, slave trade and post-colonial world are so grave that Europe has to fear what will happen if a day of reckoning will dawn on us.
I once asked Swedish MP Malcolm Momodou Jallow his definition of Afrophobia.
“It is the fear of the white majority losing its p0wer and privileges to blacks,” he said.
Islamophobia, then, is not only excessive fear of Islam but the fear that the white European Christian majority will lose its power and privileges to Muslims and other minorities.
The best way of handling cultural diversity is through inclusion, not exclusion and imposition.
Assimilation should not be the spirit and guiding force that bonds our culturally and ethnically diverse communities. Assimilation is a one-way adaption process based on power and privilege and will fail as a result.
The red herring of the Algerian woman’s case is what the court in France ruled.
The real reason is the fear of a loss of power and privileges to minorities who also have a right to their religion and to live in a region that claims that different lifestyles are fine as long as you do not cause harm to others.
What this means in practice is that women have the right to shake hands or not with men if they wish.