Bibliography and Further Sources

Ambah, Faiza (2015), Mariam. Aziz, Shaista (2022), “France is on a Dangerous Collision Course With its Muslim Population”, CNN.  Begag, Azouz (2007), Shantytown Kid, ed. Naima Wolf and Alec G. Hargreaves, Lincoln, Nebraska: University Of Nebraska Press. Bertossi, Christophe and Hajjat, Abdellali (2014), Country report: France, [GLOBALCIT], EUDO Citizenship Observatory, 2010/14, Country Reports, 2013/04 – Bleich, Erik (2016), “Race Policy in France”, Brookings. Britannica, The… Continue reading Bibliography and Further Sources


The veil ban affair requires far more extensive discussion and scholarship than what has been included in this website. Nevertheless, a fundamental issue with the ban prohibition is that it comes with an obligatory trade-off between freedom and secularity. An important question is that of which value should be prioritized over the other and whether… Continue reading Conclusion

Arguments For The Ban

On the one hand, people argue that the veil ban is crucial for an effective assimilation of Muslim women into French culture and therefore, secularism should be prioritized over freedom. For instance, Caitlin Killian conducted a study in which she interviewed Muslim French women asking for their opinions on the veil ban, and more than… Continue reading Arguments For The Ban

Arguments Against The Ban

On the other hand, there are multiple instances in which the upholding of a “uniform” culture secluded, rather than integrated, migrant minorities. The push for a secular society can backfire and encourage religious communities to isolate themselves from French society, ultimately defeating the purpose of laïcité. For instance, the existence of bidonvilles proves that the… Continue reading Arguments Against The Ban

The Ultimate Trade-Off – “Secularism” or “Liberty”?

Ever since the French Revolution, the values of freedom and secularism have been integral for French law. For instance, Article 1 of the 1958 Constitution proclaims: La France est une République indivisible, laïque, démocratique et sociale. // France shall be an indivisible, secular, democratic and social Republic. French Constitution. The very next article — Art. 2 —… Continue reading The Ultimate Trade-Off – “Secularism” or “Liberty”?

The Veil Ban in Public Spaces

In 2010, LOI 2010-1192 was enacted, banning the use of head-covering religious symbols in public spaces ( The reasoning behind this prohibition was that the veil goes against the secular values of the nation and that banning it is an effort to integrate Muslim migrant populations into French society. Nevertheless, this effort towards “integration” takes away the… Continue reading The Veil Ban in Public Spaces

The Muslim Veil Ban – Origins and Implementation

How can you have a discussion about my identity and not include me? I don’t think politicians are the ones who are supposed to define what it means to be a Muslim woman. — Rawdah Mohamed on the French Veil Ban, 2021 Secularism—A French priority “Who is French?” and “What does it mean to be French?”. Maxim Silverman… Continue reading The Muslim Veil Ban – Origins and Implementation

How did post-colonial migration change the definition of being French?

Post-colonial migration was, without a doubt, a turning point for the history of French belonging and nationality. At first, it was relatively easy for migrants of former colonies to become French citizens—and inherently members of the French nation. The 1962 Evian Accords allowed people living in former colonies to automatically become French if they lived… Continue reading How did post-colonial migration change the definition of being French?

What does it mean “to be French”?

Right after the French Revolution, it was rather simple to define someone as French or, in other words, as part of the French nation. With a fairly uniform society composed of French-speaking, catholic, français de souche citizens, there was little to no discussion that they were as “French” as one could be. Nevertheless, what French… Continue reading What does it mean “to be French”?

French Citizenship: From jus soli to jus sanguinis

With the new conception of the French Republic came the debate of who will form part of the French nation and thus, who would be considered French. Before the Revolution, jus soli—every man born in French territory is automatically French—was the main criterion for nationality law in France (Sahlins 2004). Nevertheless, the Revolution broke from… Continue reading French Citizenship: From jus soli to jus sanguinis