Zach Post #8 – Failure of Integration and Headscarves

“The social construction of the migrant and the Muslim migrant in particular as a problematic participant in European recent social and political life for the curtains the back of two of the active demographic movements during the last half century” (Hunter 235). The Muslim migrant has been having problems integrating into Europe since the 1950’s. In the 1950’s European economies encouraged immigration for workers but in the 1970’s during an economic down European countries stopped immigration. Another reason why people went to European countries is because they were fleeing conflict and political problems. Europeans called these people from Turkey, Morocco, and other Islamic countries “others” these “others” being Muslim, Europeans did not want these “others” to integrate with them. This perspective is saying that Europeans will not see immigrants as the same as them, not even if they live in the same neighborhoods, or even if they are citizens of a European nation. This is making Muslims believe that they are not normal and that they are kind of like outcasts.

Islam in Europe, is a socially constructed issue. “the construction of this discourse of both of those profoundly influences the way if European publics and policymakers view and interact with Europe’s Muslim communities” (Hunter 236). This has real consequences for Muslims, how they view the Europeans, and how there are discriminatory practices that put Muslims in a defensive position.

The Islamic gender system is completely different that the French gender system. The Islamic system is that sex poses a threat of social and political problems, the veil is to curb the dangers sexuality of women and men. According to women headscarves showed a sign of modesty and sexual unavailability.

The French system celebrate sex and sexual freedom to social and political points, “at the same time sex poses a tremendous difficulty for the abstract individualism that is the basis for French republicanism: if we are all the same why has that will differences been such an obstacle for real equality?” (Scott 154).

The Islamic headscarf poses a challenge to the French idea of abstract individualism because the headscarf is showing that you are closed off to others, that it is alienating women from their rights and their sexuality. Also some French people link headscarves to terrorism, which is completely wrong because it is just part of their religion, but people think that it is a big bad scary thing. According to French “norms” it is that religion is supposed to be private, an at home thing, but when you go out in public (out of the house) you need to leave your religion at home. This is an idea that Muslims in France that are wearing headscarves out in public is show that they are not a part of the French culture, and that they are outsiders.

My personal thought on this debate is that it simply should not matter if a woman wants to wear a headscarf or not, it should be the choice of the women. “Banning the headscarf, French legislators insisted that they were really a sign of women’s equality can function and doing sodic there that quality of women and men were the first principle of the republic” (Scott 168).  I do believe that it should NOT be banned. People should be able to express themselves as they want to and there should not be a law against it. This law also talked about girls in headscarves as too much and too little being revealed, this should not matter to law makers, only to the person that is wearing it.  This banning of headscarves would be the same as saying that people cannot wear baseball caps, yes banning baseball caps would be silly just as banning headscarves is silly.


HUNTER, Shireen T., and Charles BUCHANAN. Islam, Europe’s Second Religion: The New Social, Cultural and Political Landscape. Westport, CT: Praeger, 2002. Print.

Scott, J.W. (2007) The Politics of the Veil. Chapter 5. Retrieved from: 


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