Topics: Antisemitism, Attitudes to Jews, Islam, Islamophobia, Main Topic: Other, Newspapers, Magazines and Periodicals, Jewish - Muslim Relations
Abstract: Jews and Muslims in France never formed singular communities and never solely or primarily interacted with each other as a function of ethnoreligious identity categories. Rather, their on-the-ground interactions often took place as a function of a variety of other identifications, solidarities, and experiences. Yet, media discourse commonly constructs Jews and Muslims as homogeneous, disparate, and separate communities and their relations as oppositional and troubled. This article examines how Jews and Muslims are relationally defined and constructed in media discourse, focusing on the national dailies Le Monde and Le Figaro. My analysis reveals the discursive patterns that emerge in articles on Jews and Muslims and how these representations implicitly construct ‘Jews’ and ‘Muslims’ and their ‘relations’. In doing so, I make two main arguments about newspaper reporting on Jewish–Muslim relations in France: (1) With some exceptions, Jews and Muslims are constructed as two separate, homogeneous communities and their relations presented as tense and problematic; (2) Jews tend to be presented as fully integrated and their representation is in general positive, while Muslims are more often presented as not fully integrated – or even as at odds with French society and its values – and their representation is, at best, ambiguous and, at worst, negative.