Olivier Guitta writes in The Weekly Standard, “The Islamization of French Schools – A disturbing report is leaked – (is Europe finished already?”
AN OFFICIAL REPORT DEALING WITH religious expression in French schools has become a must read for anyone interested in the Islamization of France. Written under the auspices of the top national education official, Jean-Pierre Obin, the report was not initially released by the Ministry of Education. But it was leaked on the Internet in March and now can be found in its entirety at www.proche-orient.info and other websites.
The 37-page report is the product of a study carried out between October 2003 and May 2004 by a team of 10 inspectors, including Obin. In addition to examining the recent literature on religion and schools in France, they visited 61 academic and vocational high schools in 24 dÃ©partements, chosen not as a cross-section of public schools, but rather as schools typical of those where religious expression has become a problem because of the high concentration of ethnic and religious minorities. Many are located in ethnically segregated neighborhoods now often referred to, the report says, “by analogy with the United States, as ‘ghettos.'”…
Amid much diversity–some of the schools were rural, some urban; some had fairly homogeneous student populations, others immigrants from many different countries–the inspectors report two consistent findings: a marked increase in religious expression, especially Muslim expression,in schools; and denial on the part of officials at all levels–from the classroom, to the principal’s office, to the regional administration–that this phenomenon is occurring.
The researchers began by studying the neighborhoods surrounding the schools. Mostly, these were depressed areas abandoned by anyone with a secure income. The report describes the flight of “French” residents and “European” shops–sometimes after they have been the targets of violence–in tandem with the arrival of immigrants and the collapse of real estate values.
Scores of informants told the Obin team that these neighborhoods were undergoing a “rapid and recent swing” toward Islamization, thanks to the growing influence of religious activists. These young men, intense and highly intellectual in their piety, are sometimes former residents of the neighborhood who have been to prison, where they were converted to Islam. More often, however, they are educated men with degrees from universities in France, North Africa, or the Middle East. They have come to be known as “bearded ones” (distinctive beards are a marker of Muslim purists and extremists–think of bin Laden) or “big brothers” (a name evocative of the worldwide jihadist movement’s Muslim Brotherhood), and they offer young people a proud identity–Muslim–in place of the dismal identity of unassimilated immigrant.
The biggest social change entailed by this Islamization, Obin reports, is a deterioration in the position of females. Teenage girls are forbidden to play sports and are constantly watched by an informal religious police made up of young men, sometimes their own younger brothers. Makeup, skirts, and form-fitting dresses are forbidden; dark, loose trousers are the strongly recommended attire. To go to the blackboard in front of a class, some Muslim girls put on long coats. Often, they are forced to wear the headscarf, or hijab, and forbidden to frequent coed movie theaters, community centers, and gyms, or even to go out at all on weekends. Lots of young women were afraid to tell the Obin team what punishments are in store for them if they disobey. Not only female students but also female teachers, Muslim and non-Muslim alike, are frequently subjected to sexist remarks by male teenagers.…
Inevitably, the report records rampant “Judeophobia,” to use the term in vogue in France. Among even the youngest students, the term “Jew” has become the all-purpose insult. Obin deplores the fact that principals and teachers do not strenuously object to this, treating it simply as part of the youth culture. Even more serious is the increase in assaults on Jews or those presumed to be Jewish. Usually the assailants are Muslim students. Sometimes the victims are, too: One Turkish high-school girl was relentlessly harassed and bullied at school because her country is an ally of Israel. The section of the report on anti-Semitism winds up with this sad conclusion: In France today, Jewish kids are not welcome at every school. Many are forced to switch schools or even conceal their identity to escape anti-Semitism.
Read it all.