The Wake Of The Shooting At The Paris Based Satirical Magazine Charlie Hebdo

The Wake Of The Shooting At The Paris Based Satirical Magazine Charlie Hebdo

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In the wake of the shooting at the Paris based satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in January of 2015, the issue of Muslim alienation in French society was given a brief spotlight. Journalists in the United States speculated that the attack could be, at least in part, a response to the discrimination that Muslims undoubtedly felt living in France. Many people in America were hearing about the racial and ethnic divide in France for the first time. In reality tensions within French society have been building for decades. Fueled by racism, islamophobia, and political rhetoric, the anger felt by many French Muslims is understandable. Within Paris, many Muslims are segregated residentially, and often denied employment based on their ethnic identity. They struggle to eke out a living without the security of a steady, well paying job. The result of this is a generation of disaffected youth who feel they have been shunned by their country of birth. All of this begs the question; what can be done to assimilate Muslims into French society and increase their opportunities for success within the French economy?
To begin to address the problem there needs to be an understanding of why French society treats Muslims the way it does and how this came to be. In a paper by Alec Hargreaves in the journal Global Dialog, he suggests that one issue is the misrepresentation of Muslims by the media, politicians, and social elites (2007). This is born out in the rhetoric of the so-called intellectual class, who have a large degree of influence in French political discourse. Some of them have argued that aspects of Muslim identity, such as the wearing of a hijab, are inherently “unfree” and therefore have no place in a free French society (Fredette 2014). T...


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... of the political and intellectual elites. If the anti-Muslim rhetoric ceases to flow from these public figures, the people of France may begin to understand the plight of their fellow citizens. In addition, new policies need to be enacted to protect Muslims from employment discrimination. A low socio-economic status can be the catalyst for unrest, as people who desire to work hard are denied the opportunity to do so. In my final paper I will further explore the underlying effects of economic discrimination, segregation, and misinformation. I will discuss policies that can be implemented to provide better employment opportunities to Muslims, both educated and uneducated, and the effects that better employment can have on their lives. The issue of discrimination is very broad and complex, but by isolating key areas for improvement a meaningful difference can be made.

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