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Muslim Political Participation in Europe$
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Jorgen S. Nielsen

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780748646944

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748646944.001.0001

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Representing ‘Islam of the Banlieues’: Class and Political Participation Among Muslims in France

Representing ‘Islam of the Banlieues’: Class and Political Participation Among Muslims in France

Chapter:
(p.190) Chapter 10 Representing ‘Islam of the Banlieues’: Class and Political Participation Among Muslims in France
Source:
Muslim Political Participation in Europe
Author(s):

Z. Fareen Parvez

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748646944.003.0010

The question of who represents Muslims in France is fraught because of differences in political beliefs among Muslims that stem largely from their class location. Drawing on ethnographic observation in and around the city of Lyon, this chapter argues that Muslim political participation is bifurcated. There is a middle-class politics of recognition directed at the state, and a movement of antipolitics among sectarian and marginalised Muslims in the working-class periphery. This class divide emerged largely due to state surveillance and control. As a result, Muslims in the urban periphery do not feel their interests are represented by middle-class and national associations. Meanwhile, there are great barriers to minority voting and complications with municipal-level participation, although this may be changing. Political potential among Muslims may thus lie primarily at the municipal level and within Islamic civil societies. But this potential will depend significantly on the future of class relations.

Keywords:   Islam, France, Politics, Political representation, Class relations, banlieues

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