I'm not racist, but...
By Christine Donjean
International current affairs issues often make a point of mentioning religious or community tensions. They spark off many questions in schools, reveal fears and provoke withdrawals and retreats based on identity or on security issues. How to protect the values of tolerance and respect and protect young people from stereotypes and prejudices caused by a lack of knowledge of the other and the ignorance of cultures? That is the objective of this collective work (1), which delivers an instructive panorama of the concepts linked to migrations and their cultural clashes.
The authors have attempted to review the numerous prejudices held against other cultures and in particular Islam.
Being of foreign origin is no protection against racist prejudice
Cultural diversity is one of the foundations of our contemporary societies. It has become rare in our world to still find mono-cultural societies. In a multicultural society, it is necessary to live together: to communicate and share on an equal footing. It is in this issue, quite obviously, that all the difficulties are to be found. Any society based on the ghetto cannot be a democratic multicultural society.
An individual can exist beyond his/her
own culture and can become enriched by that of others. Nonetheless, in
cultural diversity, living together often goes hand in hand with a lack
of understanding, rejection and stereotypes due to a misreading of
cultures. Or a clash of civilisations, of concepts which are a priori
What history can teach us
Can this gathering together encourage ‘integration’?
Understanding Islam and Muslims
The words ‘Islam’ and ‘fundamentalism’ are often linked – certain people think that Islam is intolerant and the primary cause of violence. This association of ideas is reinforced by the media, in particular as far as the question of terrorism is concerned. There are numerous prejudices against Islam: violence (terrorism), misogyny (the place of women in society, wearing the veil), etc. To move beyond received ideas, this work invites us to ask ourselves about the concepts linked to Islam and to try to understand their different component parts.
Building the peace, denouncing the violence
What motivated you to write as a trio and notably with a novelist?
(1). Je ne suis pas raciste, mais…By Malika Madi and Hassan Bousetta, in collaboration with Anne Morelli, Editions Luc Pire, 2008.