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[23 Nov 2016 | Comments Off on Islam Foundation Head Says Muslims Should Try More to Integrate]
Islam Foundation Head Says Muslims Should Try More to Integrate

France’s decision to name a non-Muslim to head its Foundation for Islam, in the wake of the terrorist attack during Bastille Day celebrations in Nice this summer, was always controversial.
Since then, Jean-Pierre Chevènement, a hardline secularist, has not backed away from expressing even more divisive views. He told a group of two dozen AAPA members on Nov. 7 that it was Muslims who needed to try harder to adapt to France, not vice versa. “Out of friendship for my compatriots of Muslim origin I’m asking them to make a little …

Society »

[5 Nov 2016 | Comments Off on Freelancers Get Expert Advice at AAPA/NUJ Joint Seminar]
Freelancers Get Expert Advice at AAPA/NUJ Joint Seminar

How do you survive and prosper as a freelance writer in France at a time when the media industry in undergoing such rapid change? Participants at our third freelance seminar (the first two took place in 1995 and 2004) on Oct. 15 heard some of the answers.
The five-hour session at the Maison de Métallos in the 11th arrondissement was the second freelance seminar organised jointly by the AAPA and the Paris branch of the National Union of Journalists of the UK.
More than 60 members of both groups, their guests and …

Society »

[25 Jun 2016 | Comments Off on AAPA’s June Gala Was Another Big Hit]
AAPA’s June Gala Was Another Big Hit

The 2016 AAPA Gala was another resounding success this year despite the showery weather that kept us indoors. Held on Tuesday, June 14, at the residence of our honorary co-president U.S. Ambassador Jane D. Hartley, it attracted 87 members and their guests over appetizers and free-flowing champagne and wine.
U.K. Ambassador Sir Julian King, our other honorary co-president, joined in the festivities. In speeches, both ambassadors lauded the work of the press in these difficult and polarized times in each nation and in France and the European Union at large.
Ambassador Hartley …

Society »

[28 Mar 2016 | Comments Off on Political Islam expert explores roots of jihad with AAPA]
Political Islam expert explores roots of jihad with AAPA

Five days before the March 22 attacks in Brussels, French political philosopher Olivier Roy told the AAPA that Islamic State is reaching its territorial limits and French jihadists are more a product of a generational revolt than a political struggle.
Roy, a professor at the European University Institute in Florence, spoke to 25 AAPA members during a lengthy Q&A session on March 17 at Bloomberg’s Paris headquarters.
Well known both in and outside of his native France, the expert in political Islam took issue with another school of analysis that argues that …

Society »

[2 Feb 2016 | Comments Off on AAPA Gets Inside Story on Immigration, Citizenship Issues]
AAPA Gets Inside Story on Immigration, Citizenship Issues

AAPA members now have a much deeper understanding of the controversial issues in France of immigration, citizenship and national identity after meeting on January 28 with Patrick Weil, historian and director of research at CNRS.
The informal gathering was kindly hosted by Secretary General Sara Llana in her apartment near Place de la République.
Weil is a true intellectual and has done a lot of thinking and writing on the social issues related to immigration and the debate over withdrawing French citizenship from dual nationals, and our lively and interesting discussion focused …

Society »

[29 Nov 2015 | Comments Off on Climate Talks Must Be a Success, Nicolas Hulot Tells AAPA]
Climate Talks Must Be a Success, Nicolas Hulot Tells AAPA

There was no doubt in the mind of Nicolas Hulot that the COP21 conference on climate change would be a success.
Speaking to a group of AAPA members five days before over 140 heads of state and governments converged on Paris to attend the COP21 on Nov. 30, President Hollande’s special envoy for the protection of the planet said : « The only question is : will it be a half success, a full success or an absolute success. »
Regardless of whether the conference’s goals for limiting greenhouse gas emissions and …

Society »

[5 Nov 2015 | Comments Off on AAPA Gears Up for COP21 Climate Change Conference]
AAPA Gears Up for COP21 Climate Change Conference

AAPA members now know the who, what, where, when and why of the upcoming COP21 conference on climate change thanks to a briefing on Nov. 3 from Celine Ramstein, the COP21 project manager for the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations.
Over 90 minutes, Ramstein, whose institute is working closely with the French government to prepare for the negotiations, enlightened us on what’s at stake, why this meeting is different from the ones that have preceded it, where the major fault lines are, and what the outcome means for France.
The …

Society »

[19 Jun 2015 | Comments Off on Annual Gala Reflects Thriving AAPA]
Annual Gala Reflects Thriving AAPA

Nearly 100 AAPA members and their guests had reason to cheer when they gathered for our annual Gala garden party – traditionally our most prestigious and well-attended event – on June 10.

Once again, we were lucky with the weather and were able to enjoy the gardens at the British Ambassador’s residence, where we were hosted with customary warmth and good cheer by Honorary Co-President Sir Peter Ricketts and Lady Ricketts.
As the champagne flowed, the mood was jovial and convivial and it was a great introduction for several new members and …

Society »

[11 Jun 2015 | Comments Off on Minister Warns on Militant Secularism in Schools]
Minister Warns on Militant Secularism in Schools

 
France must avoid being overly dogmatic in the interpretation of rules separating church and state, and “militant secularism” of the kind that bars mothers with headscarves volunteering on school outings is “counter-productive,” Education Minister Najat Vallaud-Belkacem told the Anglo American Press Association on June 1.
 
In a 90-minute meeting with over two dozen AAPA members at her ministry, France’s first female education minister fielded questions on a broad range of subjects, from secularism to her controversial collège (middle school) reforms to the opposition UMP rebranding itself Les Républicains.
 
On the laws banning …

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[22 Mar 2015 | Comments Off on Imam Lays Out the Challenges Facing French Muslims]
Imam Lays Out the Challenges Facing French Muslims

Islam in France must respect and adapt to the country’s secular creed and be independent of foreign influence, but France must also better understand and respect Islamic history and its achievements, says Tareq Oubrou, rector and imam of the main mosque of Bordeaux.
 
“Islam has always been transmitted through cultures, so when the culture changes the relationship with religion must change as well,” Oubrou said during a March 10 meeting with over 20 AAPA members. “The culture of French Muslims is Western, so they must find a way to integrate their …