Islam and Manuel Valls’ cultural battle for the heart and soul of France

by Rashmee

Posted on January 28, 2017


France’s Socialist Party presidential primary is tomorrow (Sunday, January 22) and it’s worth considering the effect of Europe’s perceived Islamification on one of its formerly leading contenders. I suppose Manuel Valls doesn’t matter much anymore, but still, this is fascinating. Back in the summer, the former French Prime Minister expressed an uncompromising view of Islam … Continue reading “Islam and Manuel Valls’ cultural battle for the heart and soul of France”

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France vs France. Two views of burqini debate and what it might mean for the republic

by Rashmee

Posted on August 30, 2016


Dominique Moisi, a professor at L’Institut d’études politiques de Paris and senior adviser at the French Institute for International Affairs describes the support he has noticed among his fellow citizens for the burkini ban. “I myself was on a French beach recently – one where the burkini has not been officially banned – and watched … Continue reading “France vs France. Two views of burqini debate and what it might mean for the republic”

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The politically shrewd option for French and German Muslims

by Rashmee

Posted on August 28, 2016 / The Arab Weekly


If they know what is good for them, German Muslims should be stoutly, if silently, supporting the partial burqa ban announced by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government. And French Muslims should be agreeing, even if only sotto voce, with Jean-Pierre Chevènement’s call for “discretion” in public spaces “at this difficult time”. Chevènement, a former Interior minister, … Continue reading “The politically shrewd option for French and German Muslims”

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Why did France stick with the hijab ban but found the one on burqinis hard-going?

by Rashmee

Posted on August 27, 2016


  You don’t have to be a lawyer to wonder why France made such a fuss about the headscarf (hijab) in public spaces 12 years ago but has thrown in the (beach towel) about the burqini ban. On Friday, its highest administrative court, the Conseil d’État, overturned the ban in one town in the south … Continue reading “Why did France stick with the hijab ban but found the one on burqinis hard-going?”

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Ignorance, fear and the burqini ban debacle

by Rashmee

Posted on August 25, 2016 / The National


The alleged Islamification of Europe has become an occasionally absurd but critical political fault line, and one is reminded of the fervent views of freethinking Victorian writer Samuel Butler. To paraphrase, the three most important things anyone has are their sexuality, their money and their religious opinions. So to the situation of Muslims in today’s … Continue reading “Ignorance, fear and the burqini ban debacle”

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Burqini battles are a pointless skirmish

by Rashmee

Posted on August 21, 2016 / The Arab Weekly


What does banning the burqini in Cannes and Villeneuve- Loubet, two resorts on the French Riviera, accomplish? It is complicated, in the words of one of the Facebook options available to signify an individu­al’s relationship status. Far easier to identify the immediate benefits of France’s third localised burqini ban in the Corsican village of Sisco. … Continue reading “Burqini battles are a pointless skirmish”

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French Riviera’s burqini ban: Don’t-show-so-we-don’t-know that you’re Muslim

by Rashmee

Posted on August 15, 2016


What does banning the burqini in Cannes and Villeneuve-Loubet, two resorts on the French Riviera, accomplish? It might, as Villeneuve-Loubet’s mayor has said, help with hygiene issues, or at least France’s traditional perception of what constitutes sanitary swimwear. This is a country that has long believed men should wear “Speedo” style bathing suits rather than … Continue reading “French Riviera’s burqini ban: Don’t-show-so-we-don’t-know that you’re Muslim”

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Rashmee has lived and worked in several countries in the past decade, including Afghanistan, India, Haiti, Tunisia, the UAE, US and UK