Dizin Eklenmedi

Salafism in France: Transnational Identity and Emancipatory Form of the Father’s Colonial Past

Received: Accepted: Published: 2015-10-20


In the era of globalization, the suburban youth present a state of exile and nomadism. Anxious, hesitant, and confused, they feel targeted in their identity, a perception that impedes their attaining a form of happiness. They seek to recognize themselves within a society that rejects them. The ensuing confusion and indignation places them between two irreconcilable worlds: that of their ex-colonized ancestors and that of France. Within this instability, which offers them no shelter or protection, they try to affirm their belonging to the nation-state. In this research, I will study the trauma these youth experience as the byproduct of what is known as the “jeune frontalier”, following the encounter of the ex-colonized with France. This term refers to young people who live in the suburban difficult areas who have to create their own identity in order to tolerate a present that is full of failure. I will examine how their curriculum vitae helps exclude the banlieue (suburbs) youth from the collective and historical framework, thereby preventing them from becoming subjects instead of simple objects of history. There were other ritual passages for them to undergo, such as delinquency, imprisonment, re-Islamization, and perhaps radicalization, in order to become visible in a society that negates them. In this paper, I will discuss briefly these phases and I am going to examine the salafism[1] of French youth in France to explain how this religious school of thought presents for them a transnational identity and emancipatory form of the father’s colonial past.


[1] This school takes its name from the term salaf ("predecessors", "ancestors") used to identify the earliest Muslims, who, its adherents believe, provide the epitome of Islamic practice. It is a school of Orthodox thought which surfaced in the second half of the 19th century as a reaction to the spread of Western ideas and sought to expose the roots of modernity within Muslim civilization.

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