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Story Publication logo October 31, 2015

Challenges Face Muslims Growing Up in Paris Today


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Tension regarding France’s 5 million Islamic inhabitants can pervade everyday life for Muslim youth...

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Adolescents at a Paris high school play basketball. Some wonder if the attacks on Charlie Hebdo encouraged public school students to engage in open and meaningful discussion about religion, no longer shunning the subject as taboo. Others wonder if the opposite may be the case, with young Muslims tired of justifying themselves and their religion each time an act of terrorism is committed. Image by Charlotte Bellomy. France, 2015.

What does it mean to be a young Muslim growing up in Paris today? Issues of religious inclusion and unemployment are at the center of challenges faced by France's Muslim and non-Muslim youth, and the dialogue surrounding these challenges can have a strong effect on whether or not youth "feel French." Hate crimes against Muslims have increased tenfold since the January attacks on Charlie Hebdo, and Muslims are 2.5 times less likely to be hired in France. Talking about these issues at all can be difficult for youth in a school system where religious dialogue is largely taboo.


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