The Quiet Flight of Muslims From France

“It’s really the 2015 attacks that made me leave because I understood they were not going to forgive us,” said Sabri Louatah, at his home in Philadelphia last month. Credit…Hannah Yoon for The New York Times. The Muslim Times has the best collection to refute Islamophobia

Source: New York Times

By Norimitsu Onishi and Aida Alami

Feb. 13, 2022

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PARIS — France’s wounded psyche is the invisible character in every one of Sabri Louatah’s novels and the hit television series he wrote. He speaks of his “sensual, physical, visceral love” for the French language and of his attachment to his hometown in southeastern France, bathed in its distinctive light. He closely monitors the campaign for the upcoming presidential elections.

But Mr. Louatah does all of that from Philadelphia, the city that he began considering home after the 2015 attacks in France by Islamist extremists, which killed scores of people and deeply traumatized the country. As sentiments hardened against all French Muslims, he no longer felt safe there. One day, he was spat on and called, “Dirty Arab.”

“It’s really the 2015 attacks that made me leave because I understood they were not going to forgive us,” said Mr. Louatah, 38, the grandson of Muslim immigrants from Algeria. “When you live in a big Democratic city on the East Coast, you’re more at peace than in Paris, where you’re deep in the cauldron.”

Ahead of elections in April, President Emmanuel Macron’s top three rivals — who are expected to account for nearly 50 percent of the vote, according to polls — are all running anti-immigrant campaigns that fan fears of a nation facing a civilizational threat by invading non-Europeans. The issue is top of their agenda, even though France’s actual immigration lags behind that of most other European countries.

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1 reply

  1. These will be just a few individuals. The vast majority of Muslims in France would have no place else to go to.

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