Keyword: North African immigrants

The grim reality behind the 1983 'march for equality and against racism'

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December 3rd marks the 30th anniversary of the arrival in Paris of the March for Equality and Against Racism, a milestone in the history of anti-racist movements in France. It was the triumphant end of a 1,500-kilometre trek across the country's towns and cities, beginning in  Marseille, and which vented the anger of France’s population of North African origin at the prejudice and violence they were regularly the target of. Moroccan immigrant Abdallah Moubine (pictured) was 29 years old at the time, and remembers the marchers’ arrival in the French capital as a “magnificent” event. Moubine, a trade unionist who battled for equal rights for North African immigrants in the French car industry, tells Carine Fouteau about the explosive racist climate of the early 1980s, and reflects on what’s changed since that historic day in December 1983.  

 

'Show us respect and equality': filmmaker, feminist Samia Chala on why France must look in the mirror and lift the veil ban

Since its introduction in April 2011, a French law banning the ‘concealment of the face’ in public has been received by a section of France’s practicing Muslims, estimated to total about two million people, as an act of discrimination and provocation, for it above all targets the wearing of the Muslim veil. Documentary-maker Samia Chala (pictured) settled in France in the 1990s after fleeing the Islamist-led civil war in her native Algeria in the 1990s. In this interview with Rachida El Azzouzi and Antoine Perraud, this self-proclaimed feminist and “mauler of Islamists” explains her outrage at a law that prohibits a basic freedom and which, she argues, does nothing but to further stigmatize an already largely alienated population of North African origin. “I am doing nothing other than sounding an alarm," says Chala. “If we don’t stop this escalation, there will be a clash. And what a clash!”