A hot topic if ever there was one, the place of Islam in France – real or supposed – continues to generate ink. In its issue published on May 3, Le Figaro magazine published an investigation by Nadjet Cherigui and Judith Waintraub entitled “how militant Islam is transforming France”.

Behind the term “militant” Islam used in the Figaro article, it is in particular more cases of radicalization that are singled out, but also more generally, a supposed progression of religious practices and demands in several sectors. economic.

This would be particularly the case in education. On the subject, the journalists give the floor to an education assistant in Seine-et-Marne who notes “in recent years, an exacerbated bigotry among certain young people (…) much more marked than among their parents or grandparents. parents”. The witness describes moments of tension during Ramadan periods, when “students, even if they are fasting, have to go to the refectory”. He also reports the case of another student “beaten up” in the courtyard because he was considered a “Satanist”, and of a teacher who was threatened. Another witness, a teacher in Hauts-de-Seine, denounces, among other things, a “denial” on the part of union representatives.

The authors later address the famous “Islamo-leftism”, a controversial term whose scientific reality is refuted in particular by CNRS researchers. The expression was taken up as part of a survey project that the former Minister of Higher Education and Research, Frédérique Vidal, had – in vain – tried to launch in 2023 among universities.

Journalists also discuss the hospital environment, particularly in gynecology, with a case of a pregnant woman refusing to be examined by a man. “Many establishments agree to ‘reasonable accommodations’ with literal Islam,” they write. This, despite charters of secularism, signed by hospitals and which in principle prohibit access to “confessional requests” from patients. They quote a nurse testifying anonymously according to which these arrangements come about “out of discouragement” but also “because more and more caregivers are themselves strict practitioners”. There is also question of the right to abortion, which would be called into question by the practices of certain doctors who “antedate pregnancies”, according to a surgeon, also testifying anonymously.

In terms of palliative care, a nurse speaks of the presence in her care unit of members of “BarakaCity” who came to preach. This association was dissolved in 2020. “But the next generation should be assured: the veil and the beard are now commonplace accessories for medical students in France,” it is written in the text. There is no specific element to put this statement into perspective.

On the other hand, the survey is well embellished with figures. In particular, these are four graphs with data open to interpretation. One, containing figures from INSEE and INED, shows that if, overall, a majority of descendants of Muslim immigrants of North African, African or Middle Eastern origins declare that they share the religion of their parents or -parents, this affiliation decreases with the generations. For example, 89% of immigrants from Algeria declare themselves Muslim, but only 64% of descendants of Algerian immigrants do so. Which is not particularly highlighted in the article and partly contradicts the first testimony.

The other data concerns new immigrants (those who have recently obtained a residence permit), who are mainly nationals of Muslim countries. Another graph is taken from the work of pollster Jérôme Fourquet and geographer Sylvain Manternach. It connects two sets of data for which no causal link is mathematically established. However, this is correlated with the number of new recipients of residence permits from countries outside the European economic area, and the increase in the number of boys given a Muslim first name in France. But correlation is not causation, even though a graphic juxtaposition might suggest it. Finally, the last set of data highlighted: the proportion of Muslim women wearing the veil, on the rise in France, whether among immigrants (especially from Turkey and the Middle East), or their descendants.

More generally, the article also mentions “Islamic demands” in other economic sectors, such as transport, telecommunications or cybersecurity.