France denies citizenship to Muslim woman for failure to adopt French culture

[JURIST] The French Council of State [official website, in French] has denied [ruling, PDF, in French] a Moroccan-born Muslim woman's citizenship application because she failed to assimilate to French culture and she practices a type of Islam found incompatible with French values. The ruling was made public for the first time on Friday by the French newspaper Le Monde, which reported [text, in French] that the Council of State's decision marked the first occasion that the French government considered the level of religious practice in determining whether a person was fit for citizenship. The woman, identified only as Faiza M., is married to a French national, speaks French, has three children born in France, and wears a burka covering her entire body except her eyes. Reuters has more. BBC News has additional coverage.

The perceived assimilation of Muslims has been a source of conflict in France during recent years. In 2005, the French government authorized emergency powers [JURIST report] to deal with rioting in Paris suburbs by poor immigrant youths. The riots were generally attributed to larger race and religious issues in France, including the marginalization of immigrants and young people originally from Muslim countries. In 2004, the French government passed a law [JURIST report] banning the wearing of conspicuous religious items, including Islamic headscarves, in public schools.

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