A Day in the Life of Paris's Growing Muslim Population
France, a historically secular country, has always struggled to embrace its growing Muslim population. Though many of the country's Muslims are descendants of immigrants from former colonies, they often feel left out of mainstream society, as well as the job force.
Last week, France's "High Council for Integration" proposed a headscarf ban in universities. This follows headscarf bans in civil service offices and state-run schools, along with full face veils in public. There are also increasing threats of terrorist attacks against Muslims by right-wing extremists. And recently, 23-year-old soldier was arrested for planning a mass shooting in a Lyon mosque during Eid al-Fitr holiday.
In 2005, many of Paris's low income neighborhoods (or "Banlieues"), where a substantial amount of the city's Muslims and immigrant communities reside, rioted over high unemployment and police harassment. While tensions have subsided since, jolessness presists, with some of the Banieus seeing unemployment rates of nearly 30 percent.
Below, via Reuters, photographs from Youssef Boudlal, who chronciled the lives of Paris's Muslim community:
High-rise apartment blocks are seen in Choisy-le-Roi, a suburb of Paris July 22, 2013. (Youssef Boudlal/Reuters)
Apartments are seen in a high-rise block in Choisy-le-Roi, a suburb of Paris July 22, 2013. (Youssef Boudlal/Reuters)
Muslims queue to buy traditional sweets for their first Iftar meal, or breaking fast, during the Muslim month of Ramadan in Paris July 10, 2013. (Youssef Boudlal/Reuters)
Chehrazad, 36, holds a bag as she arrives at Mantes-la-Jolie market in Paris July 16, 2013. Chehrazad, a Muslim woman of Moroccan origin who is married to a French national, lives and works in the Parisian suburb of Mantes-la-Jolie. She works as a secretary in a notary's office, where she has to remove her headscarf due to a law banning their use in the civil service. (Youssef Boudlal/Reuters)
Chehrazad, 36, talks on a mobile phone while looking at clothes in a shop window in Mantes-la-Jolie, a suburb of Paris July 16, 2013. (Youssef Boudlal/Reuters)
Chehrazad, 36, walks as she arrives at the Mantes-la-Jolie mosque, in a suburb of Paris July 16, 2013. (Youssef Boudlal/Reuters)
Hamza, 28, an unemployed immigrant from Algeria points at a picture of a ship that reminds him of his journey to Paris June 25, 2013. (Youssef Boudlal/Reuters)
Muslims pray during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan at a mosque in Paris July 12, 2013. (Youssef Boudlal/Reuters)
Lahcen, 41, takes a photograph of himself in Mantes-la-Jolie, a suburb of Paris July 9, 2013. (Youssef Boudlal/Reuters)
Lahcen, 41, walks past a metro station in Paris July 14, 2013. Lahcen is a Moroccan Muslim who immigrated to France and has been living in Paris for the last 10 years. (Youssef Boudlal/Reuters)