The State of Emergency and Muslims in France

Friday, July 14, 2017
Gilbert Scott Conference Room - 250 (University of Glasgow)
Jennifer Fredette , Public Law, Ohio University
This paper examines the state of emergency laws that were first put in place following the Bataclan massacre and how various rights advocacy groups (those that are religiously neutral and those that advocate for Muslims) have contested them. In tracing how the state of emergency has affected the lives of Muslims in France, the paper argues that this bundle of laws and exceptional powers cannot be understood outside of the context of a changing discourse on laïcité. Drawing on the insights of critical race theory while challenging that literature to also attend to postcolonial anxieties over religion and identity, the paper highlights how the changing discourse on laïcité increasingly exposes Muslims to police powers in the everyday, something that is only exacerbated by the nation-wide state of emergency.