In The French Melting Pot: Immigration, Citizenship, and National Identity, Gérard Noiriel contends that in France, the modern idea of the nation emerged as a means to subvert the dominant influence of the nobility, whose rule was underwritten by the aristocratic idea that “the nation was founded on ‘blood lineage.’”1 Noiriel posits that “the revolutionary upheaval discredited not only the old order but everything that harked back to origins, so much so that the first decrees abolishing nobility were also directed against names that evoked people’s origins: an elegant name is still a form of privilege; its credit must be destroyed.”2 The rejection of group differences as well as the exaltation of assimilation policies that were strengthened by a social contract in the postrevolutionary political climate reflected, above all else, a contestation of the privileges that had been accorded to the nobility.3 It is from this historical background that Noiriel examines contemporary arguments regarding assimilation—specifically, which groups are deemed “assimilable” and which ones are not. This rhetoric of assimilation under the banner of laicité has framed hotly debated discussions vis-à-vis the position of Muslims in France within the imagined national community. In an environment where Muslim bodies and symbols are relentlessly quarantined and prevented from “contaminating” secular spaces, this article will examine the ways in which French Muslim Hip Hop artists such as Médine, and Diam’s have employed different rhetorical strategies to navigate their French and Muslim identities through their lyrics.
Nyawalo, Mich Yonah
"Negotiating French Muslim Identities through Hip Hop,"
Journal of Hip Hop Studies: Vol. 6
, Article 14.
Available at: https://scholarscompass.vcu.edu/jhhs/vol6/iss2/14