France's 5 million Muslims say they often feel left out of mainstream society, as well as the job force.

France, a historically secular country, has always struggled to embrace its growing Muslim population. Though many of the country's Muslims are descendants of immigrants from former colonies, they often feel left out of mainstream society, as well as the job force.

Last week, France's "High Council for Integration" proposed a headscarf ban in universities. This follows headscarf bans in civil service offices and state-run schools, along with full face veils in public. There are also increasing threats of terrorist attacks against Muslims by right-wing extremists. And recently, 23-year-old soldier was arrested for planning a mass shooting in a Lyon mosque during Eid al-Fitr holiday.

In 2005, many of Paris's low income neighborhoods (or "Banlieues"), where a substantial amount of the city's Muslims and immigrant communities reside, rioted over high unemployment and police harassment. While tensions have subsided since, jolessness presists, with some of the Banieus seeing unemployment rates of nearly 30 percent.

Below, via Reuters, photographs from Youssef Boudlal, who chronciled the lives of Paris's Muslim community:

High-rise apartment blocks are seen in Choisy-le-Roi, a suburb of Paris July 22, 2013. (Youssef Boudlal/Reuters) 
Apartments are seen in a high-rise block in Choisy-le-Roi, a suburb of Paris July 22, 2013.

(Youssef Boudlal/Reuters)

Muslims queue to buy traditional sweets for their first Iftar meal, or breaking fast, during the Muslim month of Ramadan in Paris July 10, 2013.

(Youssef Boudlal/Reuters)

Chehrazad, 36, holds a bag as she arrives at Mantes-la-Jolie market in Paris July 16, 2013. Chehrazad, a Muslim woman of Moroccan origin who is married to a French national, lives and works in the Parisian suburb of Mantes-la-Jolie. She works as a secretary in a notary's office, where she has to remove her headscarf due to a law banning their use in the civil service.

(Youssef Boudlal/Reuters)

Chehrazad, 36, talks on a mobile phone while looking at clothes in a shop window in Mantes-la-Jolie, a suburb of Paris July 16, 2013.

(Youssef Boudlal/Reuters)

Chehrazad, 36, walks as she arrives at the Mantes-la-Jolie mosque, in a suburb of Paris July 16, 2013.

(Youssef Boudlal/Reuters)

Hamza, 28, an unemployed immigrant from Algeria points at a picture of a ship that reminds him of his journey to Paris June 25, 2013.

(Youssef Boudlal/Reuters)

Muslims pray during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan at a mosque in Paris July 12, 2013.

(Youssef Boudlal/Reuters)

Lahcen, 41, takes a photograph of himself in Mantes-la-Jolie, a suburb of Paris July 9, 2013.

(Youssef Boudlal/Reuters)

Lahcen, 41, walks past a metro station in Paris July 14, 2013. Lahcen is a Moroccan Muslim who immigrated to France and has been living in Paris for the last 10 years. (Youssef Boudlal/Reuters)

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. photo: a pair of homes in Pittsburgh
    Equity

    The House Flippers of Pittsburgh Try a New Tactic

    As the city’s real estate market heats up, neighborhood groups say that cash investors use building code violations to encourage homeowners to sell.  

  2. A photo of a police officer in El Paso, Texas.
    Equity

    What New Research Says About Race and Police Shootings

    Two new studies have revived the long-running debate over how police respond to white criminal suspects versus African Americans.

  3. Life

    The Cities Americans Want to Flee, and Where They Want to Go

    An Apartment List report reveals the cities apartment-hunters are targeting for their next move—and shows that tales of a California exodus may be overstated.

  4. a photo of a Dodge Challenger
    Transportation

    The ‘Airbnb of Cars’ Gets Heat From the Rental Car Industry

    Peer-to-peer sharing services that let owners rent out their vehicles are a focus of concern from traditional car rental companies, who see disruption ahead.

  5. photo: An elderly resident of a village in Japan's Gunma Prefecture.
    Life

    In Japan’s Vanishing Rural Towns, Newcomers Are Wanted

    Facing declining birthrates and rural depopulation, hundreds of “marginal villages” could vanish in a few decades. But some small towns are fighting back.

×