By Randa Darwish
Teaching the Arabic-language in France has always been a debate within the French government. The latest came to light after the French Education Minister presented a proposal of adding the Arabic-language learning within the French school system.
The Education Minister, Jean-Michel Blanquer defended his proposal on one of the local TV stations saying that Arabic is “a very important language, like other great civilizational languages” including Chinese and Russia.
The proposal came as a result of recently-released report by Paris’s Institut Montaigne earlier during this week. It suggested that rejuvenating Arabic-language learning in French school will be essential “since Arabic courses have become for Islamists the best means of attracting young people to their mosques and schools”. It also argued that teaching the Arabic language in schools will help in combating “Islamism” in the country.
Introducing the Arabic-language in French schools was welcomed by Arab families who will not worry about children getting to learn their mother-tongue anymore.The conservative and far-right political forces on the other hand strongly criticized the government accusing it of planning to “Islamise” and “Arabize” France.
The topic captured the social media attention with opinion online divided over it.
Many French people seemed to be opponents of the proposal.
France24 had created a poll on their Twitter account and the results were a majority opposition to adding the Arabic language to schools.
Many users went to ridicule the conservative French who are fearing the “Islamization” of their country by teaching Arabic in schools, without realizing the fact that the Arabic language was founded years ago before Islam.
Several Education Ministers had proposed plans to add the Arabic language among the language choices for French pupils during the last few years, as a result of the noticeable increase in numbers of Arabs in France which made them the largest Muslim community in Europe, most of them root from Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia.
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