After further considering my final paper, I have decided to change my two aspects of colonialism from dehumanization and the mark of the plural to assimilation and dehumanization because the topic that I have chosen lends itself to these topics much more freely. Since I did my Spanish capstone on the Arab’s influence on Spain, I find it only fitting that I should do my French capstone on the Arabs in France. With this in mind, I plan to examine the current situation in France in regards to the Muslims living there and how they are treated in the French society.
Sadly, this is a very bleak aspect of French society to analyze. Throughout the past half century, many Arabs have decided to come to France to try to start a new life for themselves and their families. Through this immigration, France has seen a variety of new problems arise. These problems are quite closely related to my two terms in many cases. For example, dehumanization is almost second nature to many French citizens when talking about the Beurs (Arabs who were born on French soil). For example, in Sixty Million Frenchmen Can’t Be Wrong, the author, Jean-Benoit Nadeau, states that “during the three years [he] was in France, [he] very rarely heard anyone say anything positive about multiculturalism.” He goes on to mention that this profound distaste for Arabs penetrates almost every aspect of daily life, relating a story that when he told his taxi driver where he was staying, the driver went off on a rant about how terrible the Arab effects on society are. The author goes so far as to mention les préfets who could never seem to find enough time to devote to the Beurs as they devoted to voting French citizens.
In terms of assimilation, the Beurs have been trying but are finding this process exceedingly difficult. Nadeau discuses how the Arab immigrants had not been extended the right to vote until 2002. Fortunately, this is definitely a sign that the difficulty involved with assimilation may be beginning to break down, but there is still a long way to go before the Beurs are able to enjoy the true feeling of assimilation.