The book analyses why religious and racial minorities in Britain and France are unable to integrate into the nation-state. By examining their religious and cultural integration as well as their postcolonial status, I make the argument that historical attitudes towards postcolonial minorities make it very hard for them to be integrated into national life even as they become legal citizens.
This chapter examines the security challenges as they have recently been articulated with regard to minorities. The fear of Islam, radicalisation and terrorism from Muslim populations is seen as a religious issue whereas the real issue is their lack of integration. Multi-generational poverty, a lack of education are still not being addressed. The chapter examines specific cases of armed violence and places them in the context of minority socio-economic problems. Secondly the chapter looks at the historical parallels between how native populations were treted under colonialism and how postcolonial minorities are treated now.
This chapter examines how a religion like Islam and its rise to prominence has become a covert way to talk about race. This is both historically true and is being practiced in contemporary Europe. Islam has served as a category which combines religious and ethnic otherness. Fictive ethnicity has found a convenient opponent in the fictive otherness Islam represents. Islam has become useful shorthand for conflicting policies and exclusionary rhetoric, challenging the impulse to inclusion and assimilation in these countries.
This chapter look at the hyphen between nation and state in the term in nation-state. It theorises that the nation is ideologically and culturally constructed as opposed to the state. Minorities have to be integrated in both formations. However while they are legally part of the state and are citizens, they are excluded from the nation at many levels. Thus they live a hyphenated existence, between two formations.
This chapter examines the special position women hold in a discussion of minority rights. They are seen as victims who need rescuing or as sexual exotic beings. This was as true under colonialism as it is now, particularly with regard to Muslim women. The logic of “civilising” is inherent to this logic, particularly expressed around what is seen as an inferior culture. Feminists are not exempt from this attitude. I examine the politics around the veiling issue in France, and forced marriages in Britain, as examples of this trend.
This chapter looks at the theory of citizenship through the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. It examines the practice and definition of multi-ethnic and multicultural citizenship in both Britain and France, especially in regard to postcolonial migrants and their children.