The French government not only welcomes migrants from North Africa and the Middle East but promises to boost the teaching of Arabic in state schools. If the migrants ignores French language’s studying, let they have an opportunity to learn Arabic at least.
The increasing scarcity of French schools offering Arabic is an evidence of the government’s reluctance to teach a subject associated with “problematic” immigrants. So far, a governmental plan has sparked the anger if the predictable response from the right who suggest it will only encourage Islamist fundamentalism in France.
Institut Montaigne recent report on radicalisation warned that Arabic classes gives a brilliant opportunity for Islamists to attract young people into their mosques and schools. The education minister Jean-Michel Blanquer has announced plans to take back control, the combative minister argues that classical Arabic should be treated like all other UN languages. Moreover, he vowed to develop its teaching in state schools in order to combat “the drift towards self-ghettoisation” in private institutions.
The trickiest issue is the strong link between Arabic and Islam. In fact, it is not so much the headscarves as the “Islamic sciences”, or religion lessons, conducted at Arabic language private schools, that have drawn scrutiny in a country that has an uneasy relationship with its Muslim minority, the largest in Europe at an estimated five million.