Muslims in the Governments of Francois Fillon
The composition of three governments under President Nicolas Sarkozy (2007-2012) is analyzed in the paper and the role of Muslims in them is retraced on the basis of the official state press, speeches, interviews, and publicistic works of French politicians. It is found out that F. Fillon’s three cabinets began to involve Muslim women of immigrant origin to illustrate the promotion of gender, ethnic and religious diversity of power. It is stated that four out of five politicians belonged to the pro-government Union for the Popular Movement, and the appointing of F. Amara was to show openness to all political forces. Four out of five politicians (except Rama Yade) were the representatives of Beur generation.
It is emphasized that a kind of consensus was formed, in which the children of Harkis (J. Bougrab and N. Berra) and labor immigrants, supporters of the National Liberation Front of Algeria (F. Amara), former ideological enemies, cooperated in one government. It is indicative that both present (F. Amara, N. Berra) and former (R. Dati, R. Yade, J. Bugrab) politicians being Muslims supported the principle of secularism and considered that religious affiliation is a private matter. Even N. Berra, who opposed the ban on the niqab, did not wear the hijab. In addition, despite all the top-level rhetoric, such appointments turned out to be something fundamentally new for the Republic, since politicians themselves often emphasized their immigrant origins, appealing to be the same citizens as others, that is, seeking self-affirmation.
In spite of the fact that in 2011 Nicolas Sarkozy said that in France the policy of multiculturalism had also failed, thus acknowledging the futility of his initiatives in the context of diversity, as neither before nor after his presidency, the Presidents of the Republic even in word never abandoned the assimilation doctrine, some his initiatives were subsequently continued. F. Hollande, although he did not promote the concept of diversity, involved Muslim women of immigrant origin into the government, the best known of which were Najat Vallaud-Belkacem and Myriam El Khomri.
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