Daniel Halliday
Dec 12 · Last update 4 mo. ago.
Should Arabic be taught in French schools?
The French minister of national educations recently suggested teaching Arabic in French high schools would help to challenge the radical Salafist thought taught alongside the Arabic language in some French mosques. In an effort to minimise radicalisation and discrimination, and maximise integration and acceptance, should the Arabic language be taught in French schools?
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Yes, it could help tackle extremism in general
0 agrees
0 disagrees
Integration is more important in the fight against extremism
0 agrees
0 disagrees
Arabic in French schools would only provoke the far right further
0 agrees
0 disagrees
Learning any language will only breed deeper cultural understanding
0 agrees
0 disagrees
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Yes, it could help tackle extremism in general

It could be a powerful weapon in minimising the impact of Salafist Muslim thought that is taught in some mosques in France and the growing Islamophobia of the French far-right. The large underbelly of both extremism and Islamophobia is a catastrophic breakdown of trust, the scapegoating of an easy target and/or a fear of the unknown. All of these could be broken down in future generations by arming them with the tools against such easy to fall into, ignorant behaviours. Teaching Arabic in French schools could help Arabic speaking children assimilate and feel accepted in French society, but could also give French speaking children more of an understanding of Arabic culture, enabling them to look past ignorant simplified narratives.

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Integration is more important in the fight against extremism

Countries with large scale immigration issues should be especially looking toward integration when considering tackling destabilising extremist forces in the region. It could be argued both ways that teaching Arabic could be positive or negative for integrating migrants into French culture, but arguably more needs to be done in this respect with a more vocal discourse on the subject of integration and methods that could aid it. Problems such as extremism will seep away as anticipated as society becomes more integrated, language is not the easiest or most necessary method for this to be achieved.

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Arabic in French schools would only provoke the far right further

This move of cultural acceptance by the French government could prove to be dangerous, considering France’s growing far right contingent. Propositions such as this are seen by many in France as a further step in the occupation of France by Islamic thought and culture, and it could be argued that such policies would further divide a deeply divided nation already in a state of social upheaval. To allow such things to happen would probably drive French society further away from peace and only incense the far-right into more aggressive and violent islamophobic behaviour.

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Learning any language will only breed deeper cultural understanding

The reaction of the right to this issue seems unjustified as learning any second language will only breed increased cultural understanding, helping to solve some of the ongoing social problems facing France, especially following the recent resurgence in national front support and rising level of immigration. This idea could be especially useful for French children, as Arabic has an international reputation for being a beautiful language, opening the door for them to a new world of poetry, music, and film of not just one other culture, but to those of the 27 Arabic speaking nations. This would have knock on effects that would be good for the future business and employability prospects of French children in this increasingly globalised world.

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