11 septembre aaron klein abbas abdallah abdallah II accords d'oslo adam zertal adenauer affaires Ă©trangĂ¨res afghanistan africom afrique afrique du sud ahmadinejad aipac AKP al qaeda al qaida al-arabiya al-fayed al-qaida algĂ©rie algeria aliyah allemagne amĂ©rique america anavad ANC angela merkel ankara ansar dine antisĂ©mitisme antisemitism antizionism apartheid aqmi arabes arabes israĂ©liens arabie saoudite arabs arafat armĂ©e armĂ©niens army ashkenazy assad assyriens atatĂĽrk auschwitz autoritĂ© palestinienne ayrault azawad Ă©conomie Ă©glise Ă©gypte Ă©lections Ă©tat Ă©tats-unis Ă©vangĂ©liques bachman baker balkans balladur bangladesh bankruptcy banlieues barack obama barak barbares bat yeor bayrou begin beheading beilin belgique belgium benoĂ®t xvi berbĂ¨res bernheim bible biden bill clinton blancs blood libel BNVCA bourgine brĂ©sil brexit britain brzezinski burke bush byzantins cahuzac cameron canada carter Castro cfr chaos charlie hebdo Chavez cheney chiisme chiites china chine chirac chosroes ii chrĂ©tiens christianisme christianity christians church chypre circumcision cisjordanie citizenship claude guĂ©ant clermont-tonnerre clinton cnn CNRS colin powell cologne columbia commentary communautĂ© communism communisme confrĂ©ries congrĂ¨s conseil de sĂ©curitĂ© conservatism conservative conservatives consistoire constantinople constitution contestation coptes coran corĂ©e du nord corsica crif crime crise crise sociale cuba cuisine cukierman culture daesh daniel johnson daniel pearl david pryce-jones dĂ©mocrates dĂ©mocratie dĂ©mographie de gasperi de gaulle democrats demographics demography desportes dhimmis dhimmitude dieudonnĂ© dinard dollar dreyfus droit international droite droits de l'homme egypte eilat mazar eisenhower election elections emanuel emigration empire ottoman ena enderlin enfants erbakan erdogan espagne etat etats-unis ethnic ethnie EU eurabia eurasia euro europe european parliament european union exode expulsion fabius far left far right fatah fayĂ§al ferdinand ferhat fethullah gĂĽlen fifth republic fillon finkielkraut flandre flotille fmi FN fondapol food foreign affairs foreign policy france franco frĂ¨res musulmans french french muslims front national frontiĂ¨re internationale fusion antisemitism gates gauche gaza gĂ©nĂ©tique gĂ©nocide gĂ©opolitique genocide geopolitics george soros george w. bush george washington germany ghozlan gingrich giscard d'estaing giuliani globalization golden age goldnadel goldstone grande-bretagne grĂ¨ce greece greens grippe espagnole guĂ©ant guĂ©rilla guerre guerre civile gurfinkiel hallal halutz hamas hamon haredim harkabi hĂ©breux hekla herzl herzog hezbollah hillary clinton hillel halkin histoire history hitler hollande holocaust holocauste hungary huntsman hurvah hypercasher ibn saoud icm research idĂ©ologie identitĂ© nationale ifop iforas ilan halimi immigrants immigration implantations inĂ¶nĂĽ inde ined internet interview irak iran irgoun isabelle ISIS islam islamic state islamism islamisme islamistes islamists israĂ©lites israĂ«l israel israel beiteinu italie ivan de bloch j call j street jabotinsky jĂ©rusalem jĂĽnger jean paul II jean-marie le pen jerusalem jewish revival jews jihad jihadism jihadisme jihadistes jihadists john mccain johnson jordanie jour de colĂ¨re judaĂŻsme judĂ©o-christianisme juifs juifs amĂ©ricains juppĂ© kabylie kadhafi kadima kadimah kassam kemal kennedy kerry kgb khamenei khomeini kippour kissinger knesset kohl korsia kosher kosher supermarket kosovo kotel kouchner l'express l'obs la paix maintenant laĂŻcitĂ© lapid ldj le drian le monde le nouvel observateur le pen le point lebanon left leftwing liban libĂ©raux liberation libertariens libertĂ© libye liebermann ligne verte likoud livni livres london louis xvi LR lyons maccain macron magoudi mahmoud abbas mai 1968 mali mandat mandela mao marcion marcionisme marine le pen marines marion marĂ©chal-le pen maroc marseilles massacres massortis mavi marmara mayflower mĂ©dias mĂ©lanchon mccain media medias mein kampf merah meretz mergui merkel mexique michel gurfinkiel middle east migrants migration missiles mitterrand mnla mohamed merah monarchie monarchy monde arabe monde islamique monod montauban montebourg montesquieu morocco morsi mosaic moscovici moubarak moyen-orient murder muslims musulmans napolĂ©on napoleon naqba nasser natalitĂ© national assembly national front nations unies nato nazis neo-french netanyahu nethanyahu new emerging powers new york new york review of books new york times nicolas sarkozy nixon noĂ«l nobel noirs north america norvĂ¨ge nouvel observateur november 13 NPA nuclĂ©aire obama occident occupation oliganthropie olmert olp onfray onu opinion orban orient orthodoxes oslo otan ottomans pacifisme pahlavi pakistan palestine palestinians palestiniens palin pape paris paritĂ© parlement europĂ©en pĂ©tain pĂ©trole peres peripheral france perses peste antonine peste de justinien petraeus peuple juif pew pipes PLO pogrom pogroms poland police politique poll pologne pompidou populism poutine prĂ©sidentielle prĂ©sidentielles premier tour presidential election primaires primaries printemps arabe processus de paix proche-orient prophĂ¨te protestantisme PS pundak putin qaradawi quai d'orsay quartiers quenelle rabbis rabin racism rahm emanuel raid rajoy rasmussen rĂ©formĂ©s rĂ©formes rĂ©fugiĂ©s rĂ©publicains rĂ©volution reagan refugees regional elections religieux religion rempart republican pacts republicans restaurants revolution right riots riyad rogers romains romney ron paul roosevelt roquette rosenfeld rouhani royal royaume-uni russia russie rwanda sadate sahara salafistes salem al-fayed sandler santorum sarah halimi sarkozy saudi arabia savir sĂ©golĂ¨ne royal sĂ©nat sĂ©pharades scandale SCO SDN selden senate shafik shalit shalom akhshav shamir sharon shas shoah sionisme socialist socialists sociĂ©tĂ© society sondages soral soviet union spcj ss staline state nobility state of emergency statism stratĂ©gie strauss-kahn strikes subworlds succession sunnites sweden sykes-picot synagogue syria syrie tahrir tariq ramadan taubira tel-aviv terre d'israĂ«l terror terrorism terrorisme thatcher the west time tocqueville torah totalitarisme toulouse tourisme travaillistes trevidic tribus trilatĂ©rale truman trump tsahal tunisie turkey turquie tv ue uk UMP un unesco union europĂ©enne union pour la mĂ©diterranĂ©e unrwa URSS US usa valeurs actuelles valeurs judĂ©o-chrĂ©tiennes valls vatican vĂ©drine ve rĂ©publique versailles vichy vietnam violence walter laqueur war washington washington post wastelands west women wright yemen zacharie zapatero
Lundi 14 mars 2016
French Demographics : From Denial To Surrender
Latest Survey Finds 25 % of French teenagers are Muslims. So much for decades of demographic denial.
The French see René Descartes, a 17th century philosopher, scientist and mathematician, as the truest expression of their national mind. I am afraid they are right.
Descartes rejected authority in intellectual life and insisted on reconstructing knowledge on plain sense and strict reasoning : hence his famous motto, Cogito ergo sum (« I think and therefore I am »). However, he also disdained experience as long as it could not be boiled down into logical and mathematical terms. This approach, so much at odds with the empirical and pragmatic approach favored in the Anglo-Saxon world, is indeed a hallmark of French culture – including politics. The French elites relish in abstract, « elegant », symetrically organized, concepts ; they have problems with hard, rough, irregular, facts. And should it come to pass that facts do not fit with concepts, they would rather ignore the former than question the latter. Even if major aspects of reality are being denied in the process, and the concepts themselves turned into inert dogmas or voided of any meaning.
Such a tendency was worrisome enough in the past, as some of the greatest French authors or thinkers realized, from Alexis de Tocqueville to Hippolyte Taine to Marc Bloch. It grew into an untractable problem after 1945, when France was reorganized a Statist nation, and a new administrative elite, engineered and trained by meritocratic academic institutions like Sciences Po (Political Science Schools), Ecole Normale Superieure (the Higher Schhol for Education), and above all Ecole nationale d’Administration (National School of Administration), engulfed the political class. Admission to Ena – through competitive examination - and graduation from Ena depend largely on mastering the required conceptual framework and never departing from it. As an average, meritocratic grand schools provide about 70 % of the political parties leaders and members of cabinet.
One of the most striking cases of reality denial under in contemporary France is demography : issues like birthrate, life expectancy, immigration and emigration. On the face of it, you can hardly ignore such things, since they constantly reshape your environment and your way of life. Even without resorting to statistics, you are bound to perceive, out of day to day experience, what is the current balance between younger and older people, how many kids are to be found at an average home, what is the ethnicity or religion of your neighbors or the people you relate to at work or in business.
The French elites, however, either Right or Left, managed for five decades at least to dismiss the demographic drastic changes that had been taking place in their country, including the rise of Islam, since they clashed with too many political concepts – or fantasies - they had been brainwashed into : the superiority of the « French social model » ; the unique assimilative capacity of French society ; equality for equality’s sake ; the primacy of individual values over family values ; secularism ; francophonie or the assumption that all French-speaking nations in the world were a mere extension of France, and that all nations that defined themselves as « Francophone » did speak French or were subdued by French culture ; and finally la politique arabe et islamique de la France, a supposed political and strategic affinity with the Arab and Muslim world.
One way for the elites to deny demographics was to reject ethnic-related investigation on legal or ethical grounds. Until 2004, ethnic, racial and religious statistics were not allowed under French law – ostensibly in order to prevent a return of Vichy State style racial persecutions. Even as the law was somehow relaxed, first in 2004 and again in 2007, many statisticians or demographers insisted on retaining a de facto ban on such investigations.
The issue turned into a nasty civil war among demographers, and especially within Ined (the French National Institute of Demographic Studies) between a « classic » wing led by older demographers like Henri Léridon and Gérard Calot and then by the younger Michèle Tribalat, and a liberal or radical wing led by Hervé Le Bras. In a recent interview with the French weekly Le Point, (http://www.lepoint.fr/societe/le-tabou-des-statistiques-ethniques-18-02-2016-2019336_23.php), Tribalat dryly observed that the « well-connected » Le Bras described her as « the National Front darling », an assertion that « destroyed her professional reputation ». The son of a prestigious Catholic historian, Le Bras is indeed a very powerful man in his own right, who managed throughout his own carreer to accumulate tenures, honors and positions of influence, both in France and abroad. The irony about his accusation against Tribalat is that, while intent to discuss the issue of immigration, she is an extremely cautious and conservative expert when it comes to actual figures and has always tended to play down, in particular, the size of the French Muslim community.
In 1997, I observed in an essay for The Middle East Quarterly that figures about French Islam were simply chaotic : there was too much discrepancy between sources. « The Ministry of Interior and Ined routinely speak of a Muslim population in France of 3 million » out of 57 million of citizens and residents, I wrote. « Sheikh Abbas, head of the Great Mosque in Paris, in 1987 spoke of twice as many -- 6 million. Journalists usually adopt an estimate somewhere in the middle: for example, Philippe Bernard of Le Monde uses the figure of 3 to 4 million. The Catholic Church, a reliable source of information on religious trends in France, also estimates 4 million. Arabies, a French-Arab journal published in Paris, provides the following breakdown: 3.1 million Muslims of North African origin, 400,000 from the Middle East, 300,000 from Africa, 50,000 Asians, 50,000 converts of ethnic French origin, and 300,000 illegal immigrants from unknown countries. This brings the total to 4.2 million. One can state with reasonable certainty that the Muslim population of France numbers over 3 million (about 5 percent of the total French population) and quite probably over 4 million (6.6 percent). »
Nineteen years later, things have hardly improved in this respect. All sources agree that France as a whole underwent a moderate demographic growth : from 57 to 67 million, that is to say +15 % (throughout the same period of time, the US enjoyed a +22 % population increase, and China, under a government-enforced one single child policy, a +27 % increase). All sources agree also, as we will see, that there was a much sharper increase in French Muslim demographics (and that accordingly the moderate national growth may in fact just reflect the Muslim growth).
For all that, however, there are still no coherent figures about the Muslim community.
According to CSA, a pollster that specializes in religious surveys, 6 % of the citizens and residents of France identified with Islam in 2012 : about 4 million people out of 65 million. Ifop, a leading national pollster, settled for 7 % in 2011 : 4,5 million. Pew concluded in 2010 to 7,5 % : 4,8 million. The CIA World Factbook mentioned 7 % to 9 % figure in 2015 : from 4,6 to almost 6 million out of 66 million. Ined pointed as early as in 2009 to 8 % : 5,1 million ; later Ined and French government sources pointed to 9 % in 2014 : 5,8 million.
Over two decades, the French Muslim population is thus supposed to have increased by 25 % according to the lowest estimations, from 3 to 4 million ; by 50 % according to median estimations, from 4 to 6 million ; or even by 100 % if one compares the Ined and government’s figures of 1997 to those of 2014, from 3 million to almost 6 million.
This is respectively almost two times, three times or six times the French average population growth.
An impressive leap forward, whatever the estimation. But what is even more impressive is, just as it was the case in 1997, the discrepancy between the estimates. Clearly, one set of estimates at least must be entirely erroneous. And it stands to reason that the lowest estimates are the least reliable. On two accounts.
First, we have a long-term pattern according to which, even within the lowest estimates, the Muslim population increase is accelerating. One explanation is that the previous low estimates were inaccurate.
Second, low estimates tend to focus on the global French population on one hand and on the global French Muslim population on the other hand, and to bypass a generational factor : the younger the population cohorts, the higher the proportion of Muslims. Something that is reflected in colloquial French by the widespread metonymycal substitution of the word « jeune » (youth) for « jeune issu de l’immigration » (immigrant youth) or « jeune issu de la diversité » (non-European or non-Caucasian youth).
According to the first ethnic-related surveys released in the early 2010, fully a fifth of French citizens or residents under twenty-four, nationwide, were Muslims. Proportions were even higher in some places : 50 % of the youth were estimated to be Muslim in the département (county) of Seine Saint-Denis in the northern suburbs of Paris, or in the Lille conurbation in Northern France. A more recent survey validates these numbers.
An investigation on the French youths religious beliefs was conducted last spring by Ipsos among nine thousand highschool pupils in their mi-teens, on behalf of the French National Council for Scientific Research (CNRS) and Sciences Po Grenoble, and released on February 4, 2016, by L’Obs, France’s leading liberal newsmagazine (http://tempsreel.nouvelobs.com/education/20160202.OBS3878/exclusif-l-ecole-defiee-par-la-religion-l-enquete-qui-accuse.html). Here are its findings :
> 38,8 % of the French youths do not identify to a religion ;
> 33,2 % describe themselves as Christian ;
> 25,5 % as Muslim ;
> 1,6 % as Jewish.
Moreover, while just 40 % of the young non-Muslim believers (and 22 % of the Catholics) describe religion as « something important or very important », the proportion rises to 83 % among young Muslims.
Such figures should deal the death blow to demographic deniers. Except that once proven wrong, deniers do not make amends ; rather, they contend that since there is after all a demographic, ethnic and religious revolution, it should be welcomed as a good and positive thing. Straight from fantasy to surrender.
© Michel Gurfinkiel & PJMedia, 2016
Michel Gurfinkiel is the Founder and President of the Jean-Jacques Rousseau Institute, a conservative think-thank in France, and a Shillman/Ginsburg Fellow at Middle East Forum.
Afficher les commentaires en (Vue non groupĂ©e | Vue groupĂ©e)
Pas de commentaires
Pas de rĂ©troliens