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Living Together, on Both Sides of the Mediterranean Sea

When I started my researches for this new topic on Youtube, I typed : “immigration en France” into the seach field. The three first links that appeared were “Muslim Immigration Destroying France”, “Immigration – Délinquance – Islamisation : La France en dangers !!” and “Immigrants in France : France’s suicide”. This sums up perfectly the hostility against Muslim immigrants in France, and how tough this topic is.

After the 1960s, North Africans were numerous to immigrate in France. They were welcomed because France was in great demand for workforce.

Now that France goes through a period of crisis, some blame it on immigrants. They do not only complain about North African immigrants “stealing their jobs” but also stigmatize them saying that they take advantage of the system, living of social security benefits. According to some people, in France, receiving unemployment benefit and family allowance can make working unnecessary, at least, to make a living.

It is true that some do take advantage of that. But not all of them. Rejecting them all is pure racism. The system has to change, and racism has to stop.

Some politicians take advantage of this situation, to turn people against Muslim immigrants. One of them is Marine Le Pen, Leader of the “Front National” party. This is a conservative nationalist party from the far-right, or extreme-right. Its major current policy is an anti-immigration policy. The National front is being more and more popular, and the hostility against Muslims grows with it.

That is why I want to remind people that as recently as last century an ethnic group was made a pariah in Europe… and it was an unspeakable tragedy.

Something that should probably be reminded : North Africans were sent to the front during the First and the Second World War. They fought alongside French soldiers. Many died. Unfortunately I can not tell you how many… I look for the number of North African soldiers who died during World War II on Google. I found 4 different numbers. On Google Scholar there was nothing at all. 300,000? 340,000?

Today, 80 000 still alive ex-servicemen from France’s colonies wait for their pensions. Those were frozen in 1959, shortly before the independence of French colonies.

I think we are pretty ignorant about this chapter of History.

I would like people to learn from the past and leave those tensions behind. I know we can get along together.

I met people from all over the world & made friends with people from North Africa, thanks to the Fulbright Program. This program was established to increase mutual understanding between the USA & 155 countries after World War II, and I am proud to be a part of it.

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