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date: 05 December 2020

Abstract and Keywords

France is home to the largest Muslim population in Western Europe. Its unique Republican assimilationist citizenship model and laïque (French secular) separation of religion and politics significantly shape the lives of French Muslims. This chapter seeks to chart this context through: (1) the history and politics of immigration and of ‘counting’ Muslims; (2) how the nation’s separation of religion and politics renders hijabs problematic; (3) political participation trends; (4) the institutionalization of Islam; and lastly, (5) contemporary figures and studies on Islamic movements and Islamophobia. This overview is paired with a review of scholarly literature that chronicles a shift from a broad-based sociology of immigration with little attention to Islam in the 1960s‒1970s to a central focus on the tradition beginning with the ‘headscarf affair’ at the end of the 1980s.

Keywords: France, Muslims, assimilation, laïcité, immigration, demography, hijab affairs, institutionalization, Islamic movements, Islamophobia

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