Re-examining the place of textuality in Islamic Studies

France’s Fears over ‘Islamic Separatism’ and Academic Freedom

Juliette Galonnier


Youcef Soufi

March 8, 2021


On Oct 16, 2020, a French schoolteacher in the suburbs of Paris named Samuel Paty was murdered by a Muslim man for showing his classroom caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad. The aftermath has placed Islam and Muslims under scrutiny with the government claiming that “Islamist separatism” is challenging the Republic’s values and unity. In this podcast, Juliette Galonnier, Assistant Professor at Science Po Paris’s Institute for International Research, sheds light on the Republic’s fears over Islam and Muslims. Galonnier addresses how the current political upheaval has put the academic freedom of French researchers under threat. Detractors accuse French academics of appropriating “North American theories”, including critical race theory, that are complicit in diminishing the threat of Islam and Muslims. In this powerful and topical conversation, Galonnier highlights ways that North American scholars can stand in solidarity with their colleagues overseas.

Host: Youcef Soufi
Recorded: Nov 11, 2020

Juliette Galonnier

Juliette Galonnier is Assistant Professor at CERI, Sciences Po. She teaches Qualitative Methods and Introduction to Islam in Europe on the Menton and Paris campuses. Her research investigates the social construction of racial and religious categories, and how they frequently intersect. Empirically, her work has been mostly focusing on Muslim minorities across various national contexts (India, France, the United States).

Youcef Soufi

Youcef Soufi is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Toronto’s Institute of Islamic Studies, where he is Co-Principal Investigator of the Reading Muslims Project. Trained in classical Islamic Law, Dr. Soufi is currently working on a book project that analyzes Islamophobia and State Surveillance in the post 9/11 period by focusing on the case of three University of Manitoba students (two Canadians and one American) who left their promising lives in Canada in 2007 to join al-Qaeda in the mountains of Northern Pakistan.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *