ISLAMIC VALUES IN EVERYDAY LIFE OF NORTH CAUCASIANS IN FRANCE

Irina BABICH


Irina Babich, D.Sc. (Hist.), Chief Research Associate, Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology, Russian Academy of Sciences (Moscow, Russian Federation)


ABSTRACT

The author has identified the place of Islamic values in everyday realities of the North Caucasians in France, an effort of great practical importance. On the one hand, we learn how Caucasian migrants live in Europe; on the other, it helps obtain more specific ideas of how radicalization and criminalization of the younger generation of Caucasian migrants in France can be avoided. The article is based on new (2015-2016) field ethnographic materials gathered in France that confirmed that the North Caucasian diaspora is divided into active (practicing) and passive (so-called ethnic) Muslims who practically never communicate. The very natural desire to belong to a community has brought Northern Caucasians to the Muslim milieu of Europe; they become Islamists or even radical Islamists. In case of the North Caucasian migrants, Islam serves as a psychological instrument of sorts that helps them adjust to life in France. Due to a stronger role of Islam in the life of the North Caucasian diaspora, its national identity is being gradually dissolved in religious identity.

Keywords: Islam, North Caucasian peoples, France, adaptation, French culture, society, religious identity, national identity.


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