Just saw a really interesting piece about Young Muslims in France on PBS. If you get a chance to catch a repeat, check it out. At the end of the piece, there was an interview with Professor Fawad Gerges which you can read here. Blurbage:
MISHAL HUSAIN: Let me put to you, then, the view that we had from the Muslim Imam in the film. The more you attack headscarves, he said, the more headscarves you will have. What do you think of that?
FAWAZ GERGES: Absolutely. I think you're going to see tens of thousands of Muslim girls and women wearing the veil in the next few months and next few years. And this is why I tend to subscribe to the idea that the decision itself could produce the opposite results from the intended consequences. It could Islamasize French society or the Muslim community further. It could fuel political Islam and supply more ammunition to conservative Muslims in France who would like the community not to be fully integrated into mainstream French society.
MISHAL HUSAIN: Our film shows a whole variety of opinions about the veil from Muslims, from the French government. What do you think is going to actually happen now on the first day, for instance, that the ban on veil comes into effect in schools? What is going to happen?
FAWAZ GERGES: What's likely to happen is a major collision, a major confrontation between students and school officials. I am not really very worried about this particular collision or confrontation because I think France is very viable democracy. And so far, fortunately, the debate is being challenged through institutional means. Let's hope that this particular debate remains channeled and institutionalized through the French political system and does not go underground. This is really where the danger lies.
Guess I'll report back on my observations when I return from my trip to France in September.