Thursday, December 20, 2012

French-Algerians are still second-class citizens

Hollande's rapprochement in north Africa doesn't change things much for French-Algerians at home

The Guardian,

".....Hollande has done very little to address the problems experienced by Algerians living in France, including growing Islamophobia. He refuses to reverse measures like the burqa ban and has highlighted his opposition to halal meat and praying in the street because of a lack of mosques. Anti-discrimination laws are way down his agenda, despite the fact that stigmatisation is likely to increase as the negative social effects of economic austerity polices become more apparent.

Populist rightwing politicians like Marine Le Pen and Nicolas Sarkozy, meanwhile, routinely portray alienated migrant communities as France's "enemy within", imposing their foreign lifestyles on an otherwise prosperous, forward-thinking modern democracy. Le Pen, who achieved a fifth of the popular vote in the first round of May's presidential elections, equates immigration from Algeria with an increased risk of terrorism.

Hollande's well-crafted business-speak and worthy pronouncements in Algeria will do nothing to change any of this. By concentrating on commerce he ignores the underlying disdain that many Algerians still hold for a French establishment that offers them little beyond suspicion and prejudice."

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