Islam in France

 

islam-france1Since it’s Islamic Appreciation Week here on Ricochet, I thought I’d share the findings of an interesting study of French Muslims just been published here in France.

Unlike the US, where the government obsessively counts and classifies those among us who have, say, strands of Cherokee DNA, the French government is not permitted to classify people by ethnicity nor to ask census questions about race or origins. The republic is based on the idea that all citizens are equal and free from distinctions of class, race, or religion. (And after a while here, this really starts to seem like common sense. When recently I filled out a form requesting my absentee ballot, complete with the standard box to check indicating my race, it struck me how inappropriate, intrusive, and obsessive it is constantly to ask American citizens to report their own skin color.)

It’s refreshing that the French government is genuinely color-blind, or at least, that it insists upon this ideal. On the other hand, lack of data about minorities hampers the state’s ability to measure how well these minorities are doing or recognize when a group, however artificial, is having problems best addressed qua group.

Because the government doesn’t count minorities, studies like this one are the closest thing we have to detailed census data, and thus especially valuable to those of us trying to figure out just what’s really going on here amid all the mostly pointless noise. A study like this is worth far more than anecdotal reports, especially when those reports are massaged so better improve site traffic and clicks. The author, Hakim El Karoui, is a professional geographer; he worked with the polling company iFOP, and the report seems well-designed and methodologically rigorous. They began with a nationally representative sample of more than 15,000 people, from which they extracted a sub-sample of 1029 who claimed to be Muslim or to have at least one Muslim parent. If you read French, you can read the whole thing here.

It’s very interesting, and none of this will be reported in the US, I’m sure, but it’s far too long for me to translate in one post. So today I’ll translate some of the highlights, add a few thoughts of my own, and summarize the chapters that follow. If any of them interest you, let me know, and I’ll translate them for you, or summarize them, in the coming week.

The highlights:

  • Self-identified Muslims constitute 5.6 percent of the metropolitan population in France. (This is far less than commonly claimed in the US media, which often says they’re 10 percent of the French population, and sometimes puts the figure as high as 15 percent. I knew those numbers were too high, but didn’t realize the real figure was this low — although it’s consistent with what I see around me. This also means that the commonly-quoted claim that France’s Muslim population is the highest in Europe is probably wrong, although I don’t know if our estimates of the number of Muslims in other European countries are much more accurate.)
  • Of the sample of 1029, 15 percent say they are not Muslims, but have at least one Muslim parent — meaning this group is about 1 percent of France’s population.
  • Only 7.5 percent of the respondents identify as Muslims despite having neither a Muslim father nor mother. So the exit rate from Islam is twice as high as the entry rate. (This is obviously significant: Scandalized reports that France is being “Islamized” and the French are converting to Islam at a significant rate are fantasy and invention. Muslims have much more reason to fear secularization than vice-versa.)
  • More than one in two of the respondents’ parents were born in France; 24 percent were naturalized French citizens, and 26 percent were foreign nationals.
  • The average age of the respondent was 35.8. (This is younger than the average French citizen, but not really young enough to be a frighteningly virile cohort that will somehow outbreed non-Muslims.)
  • The respondents’ fathers mainly come from Algeria and Morocco: 31 and 20 percent, respectively. Tunisia accounts for another 8 percent, the rest of Africa a bit more than 15 percent, and Turkey about 5 percent. The respondents’ mothers exhibited a similar profile, with very little endogamy.
  • People who belong to the working classes (the authors’ term) and day laborers are over-represented. Almost 25 percent are blue-collar workers, as opposed to 13.1 percent in the overall sample; and 38% are unemployed: This is twice the average French unemployment rate. (“Average” rates here are what they extrapolated from the general sample.)
  • Muslims tend to be overrepresented in precarious forms of employment (fixed term, temporary, part-time). But we’re also seeing the emergence of a middle and upper class: 10 percent were in middle management and 5 percent were very highly-skilled workers. (“Highly-skilled” is my best effort at translating a term no American would use: “professions intellectuelles supérieures.” Literally: “intellectually superior professions.”)
  • The community is characterized by four traits. 1. Regular religious practice: 31 percent went to a mosque or prayer room once a week, as opposed to 8.2 percent of regular churchgoers (or appropriate analogue) in the general population; 2. A marked preference for halal food: 70 percent of the respondents said they “always” buy halal meat, 22 percent bought it “sometimes” and only 6 percent said “never”; 3. The majority supports veiling, despite major divisions: 65 percent are in favor of the veil; 4. The absence of widespread Muslim communalism: 78 percent of the respondents who are registered on electoral lists said they don’t always vote for Muslim candidates.
  • Interestingly, contrary to popular opinion, men are less conservative than women. Among men, 26 percent reject veiling. Only 18 percent of women agree. (The phrasing of the question: “Do you look favorably upon veiling?”) Men were also more likely to say, “Everyone should do what they want.” The authors note the difficulty of interpreting the answer to this question, given that the full face veil is illegal in France. Does the response reflect a genuine preference for veiling, they wonder, or does it represent resentment of a meddlesome state? They’re particularly perplexed, because only 23 percent of women said that they “always” wore hijab; 7 percent said they wore it except when they were at work or school; and 5 percent wore it “rarely.”

The authors of the study count three broad groups:

  • The “silent majority,” comprising 46 percent of respondents. “Their value system aligns with French society, they thus contribute to the evolution of the particularities of their faith.”
  • “Conservatives.” This is something of a composite group. “They make up 25 percent of the sample and are at the heart of the political and ideological battle. The proposals in our report are tools for winning this battle. Proud to be Muslims, they claim the right to express their religion in public spaces. Very pious (Sharia is of great importance to them, so long as it’s in the boundaries of the Republic’s laws), they feel positively about expressions of religion in the workplace, and have widely adopted the “halal” standard as the definition of “a real Muslim” They firmly reject the niqab and polygamy and accept secularism.”
  • “Authoritarians,” who make up 28 percent. They are mostly young, low-skilled, and at the bottom of the employment hierarchies. They live in the large suburbs around the cities. This group is defined more by its use of Islam to signify revolt from the rest of French society than by its conservatism.

Here are the chapter headings. You’ll probably be able to see from them that interesting things are made possible by the French tradition of dirigisme and its lack of a free exercise clause. Let me know if you see something you’d like to learn more about; I’ll translate it for you this week.

Summary

Foreward by Hakim El Karoui

1. A PORTRAIT OF MUSLIMS IN FRANCE

1.1. Methodology

1.2. Sociological and demographic characteristics of Muslims in France

1.2.1. Demography

1.2.2. Nationality

1.2.3. Country of Origin

1.2.4. Other Characteristics

1.3. Typology of Muslims according to their Religiosity and Sociodemographic Description of Groups

1.4. Which Islamic Practices?

1.4.1. Halal and Dietary Norms

1.4.2. The Wearing of the Veil: What Motivates It?

1.4.3. Which Religious Authorities?

1.4.4. How Often Do they Visit the Mosque?

1.5. Relationship to France, its Institutions, and Society

1.5.1. Attachment

1.5.2. Defiance

1.5.3. Openness to Others and Diversity

1.5.4. Political Opinions about French Society

1.5.5. Relationship to Politics

1.6. Conclusions of the Inquiry

2. FRENCH ISLAM: ORGANZED FROM THE TOP

a. Consular Islam

i. Foreign Countries that Transmit Islam

ii. Foreign Countries that Transmit a Fundamentalist Islam

b. L’UOIF (The Union of Islamic Organizations in France): An Islam à la française?

i. Origins and Organization

ii. An Agent of French Islam

iii. Notoriety and Institutionalization: Decline or Neutralization of the UOIF?

c. Salafism: A Rampant Ideology without a Central Organizaton

i. A Modern Fundamentalism

ii. Public Targets

iii. Differences between Brotherhood Fundamentalism and Salafist Fundamentalism

d. State Efforts to Organize a French Islam

i. Pierre Joxe and the Creation of the Conseil de Réflexion sur l’Islam en France (French Deliberative Council on Islam) or CORIF (1989- 1993)

ii. The Pasqua Method, or The Algerian Choice

iii. Jean-Louis Debré, or the Laisser-faire Method

iv. Jean-Pierre Chevènement : From Istichâra to the Premises of the CFCM

v. Nicolas Sarkozy and the Birth of the CFCM

vi. Results and Perspectives from Today’s CFCM

vii. Relations between Islam and the Republic: The Methods and the Men

viii. Relations between the State and Islam in Europe: An imperfect Institutionalization

3. ISLAM FROM THE BOTTOM

a. Everyday Islam

i. Everyday Islam: The Pyramid and the Rhizome

ii. Weight and Role of the Mosques

iii. Weight and Role of the Imams

b. Islam on the Internet: The Islam of the Multitude

4. RECOMMENDATIONS

a. Proposals

i. Create The French Foundation for Islam and the Muslim Association for a French Islam: Two Major Institutions

ii. A Chief Imam of France to Express an Islamic Doctrine Compatible with Republican Values

iii. Extend the Alsace-Morelle Concordat to Islam

iv. Accelerate Arab-Language Education

v. Create and Professionalize Chaplains

vi. Facilitate the Management of Everyday Islamic Life

vii. Create a Secretary of State, named by the Prime Minister, for Religious Affairs and Secularism

viii. Develop Knowledge of Islam

ix. Optional Scenario — Studied but not Recommended by this Report: Update the Law of 1905 to take into Account New Sects

IS A FRENCH ISLAM POSSIBLE? For and Against

And please don’t forget: If you’d like to know a lot more about this, I’m writing a book about it — and funded entirely by my readers:

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  1. Mike Rapkoch Moderator
    Mike Rapkoch
    @MikeRapkoch

    I’d be interested in 1.5-1.6.

    Very interesting analysis.

    • #1
  2. Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed.
    @Claire

    Mike Rapkoch:I’d be interested in 1.5-1.6.

    Very interesting analysis.

    I’ll do that tomorrow. I found it very interesting, too. One thing you can see from this, it may not be obvious until I point it out, is how profoundly the French educational system shapes everyone here. Whatever the problem, it comes in subsets. First we classify them: a, b, and c. Whatever the subsets, they too have subsets. This way of looking at things — flora, fauna, Islam in France — is so profoundly hammered into them by the time they graduate from high school that they instinctively apply it to everything. If you go to the pharmacy and ask for aspirin, the pharmacist will explain that there are three types of headache: “First, there is zee migraine, then, there is zee tension, and third, there is zee cluster … ” The lecture from this point is unstoppable; it will happen whether you want to hear it or not, and never will a step be missed. I wrote about this in Menace in Europe; it shows the way the French really can turn anyone into a Frenchman if they get their hands on them young enough. Test this on the next French person you meet: Ask him or her to explain something, pretty much anything, and this is what you’ll get.

    • #2
  3. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.: Since it’s Islamic Appreciation Week here on Ricochet

    I seem to have missed the announcement of this special week. How do we celebrate?

    • #3
  4. Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed.
    @Claire

    Arahant:

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.: Since it’s Islamic Appreciation Week here on Ricochet

    I seem to have missed the announcement of this special week. How do we celebrate?

    Well, there’s always the option of donating to my book campaign!

    • #4
  5. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.: Well, there’s always the option of donating to my book campaign!

    I may have to start one of those for one or more of the books I am working on.

    • #5
  6. Marion Evans Inactive
    Marion Evans
    @MarionEvans

    I am skeptical on whether moderation can be measured by a poll when we are talking about the long term. Sometimes a crisis and a few bad agents and a charismatic leader have overwhelmed the good sense of a majority of people.

    • #6
  7. Hypatia Inactive
    Hypatia
    @Hypatia

    Arahant:

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.: Since it’s Islamic Appreciation Week here on Ricochet

    I seem to have missed the announcement of this special week. How do we celebrate?

    Oh my gosh, is it that time of year again already? I guess that explains the playful hijinks that went on in Manhattan and New Jersey this week.

    • #7
  8. Mike LaRoche Inactive
    Mike LaRoche
    @MikeLaRoche

    Arahant:

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.: Since it’s Islamic Appreciation Week here on Ricochet

    I seem to have missed the announcement of this special week. How do we celebrate?

    By having a blast.

    • #8
  9. Del Mar Dave Member
    Del Mar Dave
    @DelMarDave

    I wish I had time to drill down deeper.

    One subject about which I have seen dueling descriptions is to what extent some Parisian suburbs have no-go zones for police and/or non-Muslims.  Any hints in the study?…and observations of yours?

    THANKS, Claire – you’re doing great work!!!

    • #9
  10. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    “IS A FRENCH ISLAM POSSIBLE? For and Against”

    Mais il existe déjà. Non?

    wrt the dirigiste approach, how consciously is the French approach formed by its experience with managing the Catholic Church?

    And if that ‘set the instinctive mode’ for dealing with religion, is it applicable to a religion with atomised authority – Iow one as structurally different from Catholicism as a religion can get?

    In Australia we have a personage called the Mufti of Australia – the Imam of Lakemba mosque (at one point, don’t know if still).

    Mufti just means an expert in a Islamic law – the title carries no authority to “speak or decide for a community” – but the pouvoir over here sort of treated him as if he could. Which was convenient, if unrealistic, and also something of a projection of one religious tradition’s structure onto another – an assumption that of course religions work this way.

    They’ve backed off because some muftis were not with the program, to say the least, but also because the source and limits of their authority were increasingly apparent.

    • #10
  11. Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed.
    @Claire

    Del Mar Dave:I wish I had time to drill down deeper.

    One subject about which I have seen dueling descriptions is to what extent some Parisian suburbs have no-go zones for police and/or non-Muslims. Any hints in the study?…and observations of yours?

    THANKS, Claire – you’re doing great work!!!

    Glad you think so!

    There aren’t any no-go zones in the sense of “ungoverned zones,” or “places where French law has been supplanted by Islamic law,” or “places the police won’t go.” There are areas full or petty (and more serious) crime, lots of unemployment, drug dealers, ugly housing projects, broken windows, and a dense concentration of immigrants or descendents of immigrants. Here’s a trailer for a popular movie set in one of those neighborhoods, which will give you a visual feeling for what the worst of them look like:

    (Obviously, it’s just a movie — the ordinary denizen is not as athletic as the actors and leads a less dramatic life.)

    The government terms these “Sensitive Urban Areas,” and I suspect these are what people mean when they talk about “no go zones.” I’ve been to most of the ZUS areas in the Paris region, and while they’re depressing, they’re not worse than bad neighborhoods in the US, and certainly not more dangerous. (The US has some scary slums.) These areas have in the past suffered from police neglect. It’s less because the cops were afraid to enter them as more because they just couldn’t be bothered: The penalty for the residents’ not being politically organized was a shortfall in public services like policing. But since the State of Emergency was declared, the cops have been in these neighborhoods 24/7. They’re now more like “go all day, every day” for the police than “no go.”

    Like everywhere, neighborhoods here change in character over time, they get gentrified or they go downhill, and some neighborhoods that used to be on the ZUS list aren’t anymore, or have recently been put on it. It’s an administrative classification that means, “high priority target,” both for policing and for urban renewal projects.

    • #11
  12. Basil Fawlty Member
    Basil Fawlty
    @BasilFawlty

    Any idea where the funding for the Institut Montaigne comes from?

    • #12
  13. Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed.
    @Claire

    Zafar:“IS A FRENCH ISLAM POSSIBLE? For and Against”

    Mais il existe déjà. Non?

    Maybe I’ve translated that poorly, the question is whether there can be a distinctively French Islam, as opposed to say, a “Saudi Islam,” or a “Turkish Islam,” and obviously, that would have to be compatible, theologically, with the secular state, so it will require some intellectual work from French Muslims. You’re noticing the interesting part, though, which is the casual grandiosity of the plan: They envision the state building, from somewhat raw materials, something like a new branch of Islam (based in part on folk traditions that are already here).

    wrt the dirigiste approach, how consciously is the French approach formed by its experience with managing the Catholic Church?

    I don’t know about consciously, but of course the way everyone in France thinks is profoundly shaped by that history, whether people are aware of it or not.

    And if that ‘set the instinctive mode’ for dealing with religion, is it applicable to a religion with atomised authority – Iow one as structurally different from Catholicism as a religion can get?

    Well, as you can see from the chapter headings, maybe — and I’ll translate/summarize those parts this week, if you like — they’ve thought about this issue and decided that what French Islam needs is an authority structure under the control of the state. Perhaps like the Turkish Diyanet. And if one isn’t there organically, they propose to create it. And I frankly don’t know whether that could work: It works (mostly) in some countries in the majority-Muslim world, which have state-controlled mosques under central authorities.

    In Australia we have a personage called the Mufti of Australia – the Imam of Lakemba mosque (at one point, don’t know if still).

    Mufti just means an expert in a Islamic law – the title carries no authority to “speak or decide for a community” – but the pouvoir over here sort of treated him as if he could.

    Yes, that’s a mistake — if there’s going to be that kind of power structure here, it will have to be created.

    Which was convenient, if unrealistic, and also something of a projection of one religious tradition’s structure onto another – an assumption that of course religions work this way.

    Yes. But they’re looking at, for example, the influence Saudi clerics have over French Muslims and basically saying, “Right. Let’s get those guys out and replace them with ours.” And in this sense, the lack of any Pope-like figure in Islam can be viewed as an advantage as well as a disadvantage. There’s no reason the highest Islamic authorities in France can’t be French, after all.

    They’ve backed off because some muftis were not with the program, to say the least, but also because the source and limits of their authority were increasingly apparent.

    The French state can’t really back off, at this point.

    • #13
  14. Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed.
    @Claire

    Basil Fawlty: Institut Montaigne

    Private funding from mostly corporate donors.

    • #14
  15. Kozak Member
    Kozak
    @Kozak

    Hypatia:

    Arahant:

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.: Since it’s Islamic Appreciation Week here on Ricochet

    I seem to have missed the announcement of this special week. How do we celebrate?

    Oh my gosh, is it that time of year again already? I guess that explains the playful hijinks that went on in Manhattan and New Jersey this week.

    Don’t forget the celebration in Minnesota.

    • #15
  16. Vance Richards Member
    Vance Richards
    @VanceRichards

    Mike LaRoche:

    Arahant:

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.: Since it’s Islamic Appreciation Week here on Ricochet

    I seem to have missed the announcement of this special week. How do we celebrate?

    By having a blast.

    We’re way ahead of you here in Jersey.

    • #16
  17. Scott Wilmot Member
    Scott Wilmot
    @ScottWilmot

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.: Since it’s Islamic Appreciation Week here on Ricochet,

    I for one, won’t be celebrating.

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.: Sharia is of great importance to them, so long as it’s in the boundaries of the Republic’s laws

    That is like Tim Kaine saying his faith is important to him except when it comes to voting for abortion and promoting same-sex marriage. I don’t buy it.

    This seems to have the same feel as that of Josh Earnest saying we are in a “narrative fight“. Yet the fight that is being waged against the west by Islam today is an eschatological one. Through the use of terror, they are waging war on the souls of the non-muslim and the insufficiently-muslim in order to break our will. We see it carried out continuously.

    Until Islam can come to grips with reason, and see that a God of pure will is incompatible with reason, I don’t see how Islam and the West can live together in peace.

    Good luck to France.

    • #17
  18. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.: Unlike the US, where the government obsessively counts and classifies those among us who have, say, strands of Cherokee DNA, the French government is not permitted to classify people by ethnicity nor to ask census questions about race or origins. The republic is based on the idea that all citizens are equal and free from distinctions of class, race, or religion.

    See there? The French really are more civilized than we are.

    1. What was the rate of non-responses?
    2. Are “extremists” (for lack of a better word) more or less likely to respond?

    The former should be easier to determine than the latter.

    • #18
  19. Gaius Inactive
    Gaius
    @Gaius

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.: One thing you can see from this, it may not be obvious until I point it out, is how profoundly the French educational system shapes everyone here.

    The implied difference in methods of assimilation is striking. I wonder were this leaves countries which lack either the US’s culture of organic assimilation or France’s strident top down republicanism. Britain perhaps?

    • #19
  20. Kozak Member
    Kozak
    @Kozak

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.: I’ll do that tomorrow. I found it very interesting, too. One thing you can see from this, it may not be obvious until I point it out, is how profoundly the French educational system shapes everyone here.

    Listening to James Delingpole’s podcast a couple of days ago, he and Toby Young mentioned profound educational reforms in France in the 90’s under a Socialist education minister that they stated went a long way to undermining the kind of universal education that had been the norm in France.  They seemed to feel it had greatly undermined the cohesion in France. To me it kind of sounded like our educational system in the US where the “melting pot”, and concept of assimilation to our national culture are now considered “cultural genocide”.

    • #20
  21. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge
    Fake John/Jane Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    Percival:

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.: Unlike the US, where the government obsessively counts and classifies those among us who have, say, strands of Cherokee DNA, the French government is not permitted to classify people by ethnicity nor to ask census questions about race or origins. The republic is based on the idea that all citizens are equal and free from distinctions of class, race, or religion.

    See there? The French really are more civilized than we are.

    1. What was the rate of non-responses?
    2. Are “extremists” (for lack of a better word) more or less likely to respond?

    The former should be easier to determine than the latter.

    I agree that the demanding that a person relate to one part of their DNA and proclaim it on paper is distasteful and needs to be stopped.  I hate people asking about my heritage.  How should I know my heritage?  I am an American, a mutt by nature and disposition.   Where my people come from is unimportant and does not need to be discussed, explored, etc.

    • #21
  22. Skyler Coolidge
    Skyler
    @Skyler

    I have always found it offensive and unamerican to ask me to report on my race.  There are phenotypes, such as dark skin, and as a generality there are certainly races, but to move from generality to the specific is a logical leap that should not be condoned.

    My mother’s family is from Portugal.  My brother did one of those popular DNA tests and found that we indeed have some moorish genes in our little pool.  Prove to me that I’m not a black man.  I don’t look at all black, but according to my DNA, I do have that “drop of blood.”

    And to categorize people by race is the very definition of racism, which no man of conscience should condone.

    But then how will the communists get us to act collectively if they can’t categorize us into collectives?

    • #22
  23. Skyler Coolidge
    Skyler
    @Skyler

    Otherwise, I really don’t care about France or the French, even though I really admire Claire’s writing.

    • #23
  24. Valiuth Inactive
    Valiuth
    @Valiuth

    Frankly, I’m not sure if I were Muslim if I would appreciate some French atheist in the Government coming up with a “structure” for my religion.

    • #24
  25. Valiuth Inactive
    Valiuth
    @Valiuth

    Skyler:I have always found it offensive and unamerican to ask me to report on my race. There are phenotypes, such as dark skin, and as a generality there are certainly races, but to move from generality to the specific is a logical leap that should not be condoned.

    My mother’s family is from Portugal. My brother did one of those popular DNA tests and found that we indeed have some moorish genes in our little pool. Prove to me that I’m not a black man. I don’t look at all black, but according to my DNA, I do have that “drop of blood.”

    And to categorize people by race is the very definition of racism, which no man of conscience should condone.

    But then how will the communists get us to act collectively if they can’t categorize us into collectives?

    Does Moorish mean “black”? I thought the moors were Arabs, who I believe are Semitic who are Caucasian. Now of course there are black Moors. But that is only because Moorish is a cultural group and so can encompass any number of races.

    I’ve always hated the way ancestry tests are sold. If one has acted German for their whole lives why would finding out you are mostly Italian make you give up your brats and beer for pasta and wine?

    • #25
  26. Skyler Coolidge
    Skyler
    @Skyler

    Valiuth:

    Skyler:I have always found it offensive and unamerican to ask me to report on my race. There are phenotypes, such as dark skin, and as a generality there are certainly races, but to move from generality to the specific is a logical leap that should not be condoned.

    My mother’s family is from Portugal. My brother did one of those popular DNA tests and found that we indeed have some moorish genes in our little pool. Prove to me that I’m not a black man. I don’t look at all black, but according to my DNA, I do have that “drop of blood.”

    And to categorize people by race is the very definition of racism, which no man of conscience should condone.

    But then how will the communists get us to act collectively if they can’t categorize us into collectives?

    Does Moorish mean “black”? I thought the moors were Arabs, who I believe are Semitic who are Caucasian. Now of course there are black Moors. But that is only because Moorish is a cultural group and so can encompass any number of races.

    I’ve always hated the way ancestry tests are sold. If one has acted German for their whole lives why would finding out you are mostly Italian make you give up your brats and beer for pasta and wine?

    So now we have to prove whether the Moors were negroid. I’m not going there.

    • #26
  27. Basil Fawlty Member
    Basil Fawlty
    @BasilFawlty

    Skyler: So now we have to prove whether the Moors were negroid. I’m not going there.

    Not Moors. Moops.

    • #27
  28. Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed.
    @Claire

    Valiuth: Does Moorish mean “black”? I thought the moors were Arabs,

    They were Northwestern African Muslims — Berber mixed with Arabs. If you look at Libyans now, you can see people we’d call “black,” and who might descend from Moors, like her, for example:

    Libya

    People have been mixing it up, DNA-wise, around the Mediterranean for so long that no one in that region should be too surprised if it turns out they have some very unexpected recessive genes.

    • #28
  29. Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed.
    @Claire

    Skyler: I have always found it offensive and unamerican to ask me to report on my race.

    Especially because we’re asked non-stop! This is a fact that would probably surprise a lot of people who’ve never spent time in America. It’s such a weird thing for a government to do.

    • #29
  30. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    I usually just put “Human.” It’s close enough to the truth. ;)

    • #30

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