The Unifying Aspects of Cultures


Minor Cultures, National Culture, and the Administration of Culture

Minya Chatterji (Paris, France):
Minorities, Multicultural Societies, and Muslim Immigrants in Paris

France, a clearly multicultural society, is host to about 14 million immigrants - a figure which calculates to approximately 20% of the French population. Of these, only 4 million had European origins, the rest comprising largely of African and Asian origin. A fact is also that France has the largest number of Muslims in Europe, the estimates of which range from 3 to 5 million. A large proportion of the Muslim immigrants are is primarily from the Maghreb and Asian countries. My paper explores the subject of Muslim immigrants in Paris who originate from the Indian subcontinent. Tracing Muslim immigrants coming from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and India, the paper investigates the various factors which affect the transformation of their culture -- if indeed it does take place. Questions on their experience with the French laïcité, their interaction with other Muslim groups, as well as the immigrants' integration into the dominant society are some of the issues that will be touched upon.