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Author(s): Bharat, Adi Saleem
Date: 2020
Abstract: This thesis examines representations of Jewish-Muslim relations in contemporary French newspaper discourse, literary writing, and interreligious dialogue initiatives. Specifically, it analyses the extent to which a dominant discourse of inherently tense binary Jewish-Muslim relations exists and how individual Jewish and Muslim writers and interreligious dialogue activists navigate this difficult socio-political terrain. While I conceptualize some aspects of literary writing and interreligious dialogue as counter-narratives, this thesis does not simply seek to counterbalance the dominant narrative of polarization found in the media, but to demonstrate, first, how this narrative constructs public Jewish and Muslim identities and shapes the terrain on which interactions between Jews and Muslims occur. My thesis reveals that Jewish and Muslim writers and interreligious activists are deeply invested in challenging the oppositional model of Jewish-Muslim relations. However, my research also suggests that their level of success depends in large part on their ability to navigate normative understandings of Jewishness and Muslimness that are often overdetermined by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. First, this thesis traces how Jewish-Muslim relations are defined and constructed in the media, focusing on the national dailies Le Monde and Le Figaro due to their considerable agenda-setting and framing power as elite and prestigious sites of journalistic expression. Subsequently, I consider how a set of contemporary novelists, Emilie Frèche, Thierry Cohen, and Nadia Hathroubi-Safsaf, formulate their visions of intergroup relations within this broader context. The novelists in this project have been included in the extent to which their works can be read as—and often are explicitly stated by these authors to be—a set of political interventions into the contemporary and highly politicized category of Jewish-Muslim relations. Finally, I examine how Jewish and Muslim activists promote interreligious dialogue and the challenges they face in doing so within a French republican framework that privileges the non-differentiation of ethnoreligious specificities. I conclude that the initiatives most likely to effectively challenge the dominant model of polarized Jewish-Muslim relations in contemporary France are those that de-emphasize Jewishness and Muslimness as separate and mutually exclusive categories, and instead emphasize hybrid identities and shared histories, while adopting an embodied, differentiated approach to solidarity.
Author(s): Jansen, Yolande
Date: 2020
Date: 2007
Abstract: Key Points:

• Faith communities tend to be heterogeneous rather than homogenous and the diversity of all faith communities must be recognised.
• Public policymakers need to be aware of cultural sensitivities in devel-oping policies that promote cohesion and integration. This can only be achieved through promoting shared values whilst acknowledging the positive contribution that the diverse minority make to Britain.
• Government must be sensitive, astute and acknowledge that integra-tion takes time. The Home Office has acknowledged in the past, one size does not fit all and a tailor-made approach to cohesion is needed. Inequality and poverty need to be tackled to achieve social cohesion.
• The Government has provided welcomed support for voluntary sector initiatives and worked in partnership with them in building cohesion through a variety of programmes. However, the public sector needs to encourage the sustainability of these projects and good practice by fo-cussing on both a long term strategic framework and longer term fund-ing cycles for these projects.
• There is a need to understand the complexity of religious belief and faith communities and their different needs. In addition, there needs to be an acknowledgement by policymakers that communities have a wide range of views on many issues.
• There are many instances where ethnic and faith minority communi-ties work together on issues where we are all affected. However, while sometimes communities and individuals within them agree on issues, sometimes they disagree. The essential thing is to build a framework for open and respectful dialogue where good relationships are main-tained through better communication.
• It is evident that British citizens increasingly have multi-dimensional identities. In particular more work needs to be done to explore the rela-tionship between faith and ethnicity.

• The Jewish community is diverse.
• The Jewish community sees itself as simultaneously a people, faith and ethnic group. It is not useful to compartmentalise these identities.
• British Jewry has developed over several centuries a notion of ‘inte-gration without assimilation’.
• Jewish experience of immigration shows that integration can happen but takes time, in particular in terms of institutional development.
• The Jewish community promotes inter and intra communal initiatives on a number of levels in the areas of social cohesion, education, community development, interfaith relations, social action and welfare. Strategic national, regional and grassroots projects exist that are sup-ported by the public, private and voluntary sectors
• Rising numbers of antisemitic attacks is a concern that needs to be tackled.
• The Jewish community is keen to promote good community relations.
• Jewish schools can be agents of social cohesion and promoters of ac-tive citizenship.