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(en) France, Alternative Libertaire #223 - Pierre Tevanian: "We spent a quiet racism racism worried" (fr) [machine translation]

Date Sun, 13 Jan 2013 13:37:26 +0200


Pierre Tevanian is professor of philosophy and co-founder of Collective Words are important (SIMA). During the passage of the law on the veil in 2004, he participated in the creation of a community school for all. He has published extensively on the issue of the veil. ---- Nico and Salima: You lead with Sylvie Tissot site "words are important" since 2000. Can you tell us about your work? ---- Pierre Tevanian: We critique of political speech and political criticism of discourse and media intellectuals. It is to deconstruct texts by background, others satirical, trying to flush out the forms and civilized euphemized racism, sexism or contempt class. The study focuses on concepts whose meaning is both very clear and very vague terms like "diversity", "integration", "multiculturalism", etc..

A vague intellectual point of view as clearly defined but never very clear when put in relation to the context - who, what talking about it? when? - For those who are affected and those who are "dredged". When we took note of the clarity of the term, we understand the heinous nature both politically and very effective. For the record, we can say that it is a form of political intervention is not sufficient but necessary.

This year you have published Unveiling: the Hijab to Burqa. How was built the veil and niqab as a problem?

To understand, we analyze precisely the discourses and contexts. Where the speech come from? From above or below? We are always told that there is a demand for people in benchmarks, objectives relay media, including surveys, and political goodwill which then attempts to provide answers. Our work shows that it is exactly the opposite: start with objective data (surveys, number of hours of TV on such a subject, etc..) Are produced more focused analyzes (how the question was asked and how she induced response she?) and you realize every time that the alleged "demands from below" are actually political initiatives from above, then relayed by the media and finally accepted to wear by the public through surveys often oriented ... The people is greater in situations of consent in demand position.

How did it come to legitimize racist laws with secular and feminist arguments?

In many of our productions, we take the dominant discourses of the word, they are given credit a priori, and analyzed. And then, quickly, their contradictions appear. The argument of women's rights, for example does not. The name of feminism, voting on laws that punish women. There is also a double standard: they say for the veil is not applied to other gendered clothing. It was decided, and that despite what the person concerned, that the veil is a symbol of oppression, we will not assert, for example, high heels and mini-skirts.

Another contradiction: we built the first veiled woman as victim and alienated character so that it is not heard. But then when it comes to punish, it becomes responsible subject. Never before had claimed feminists restrictions of rights for women. So when a law comes in contradiction with all the reasons, we ask: why? We realize that the goal is in fact nothing more nor less than to see the veil. On secularism same thing: Ferry laws and the 1905 law no requirement any neutral dress, they separate the political and religious institutions and guarantee freedom of religion and conscience. The 2004 law prohibits the contrary expression. It is the neutrality of the public service and its agents that was previously required, never the users. The neutrality of the public space was conceived as a neutral space only for the public may not be.

You can do the comparison with a football match on neutral ground: neutrality allows no support can foster both teams. The new secularism require that the teams remain neutral, which would not play football! Finally, this neutrality is addressed only one of two teams: the Muslims! There is therefore a first level of analysis of these laws, which allows us to say that it is a challenge to freedom of expression, a second, which emphasizes its gender dimension, since it is primarily women who are targeted, and a third: in fact these laws apply only to Muslims, and are therefore racist.

Islamophobic attacks have been frequent in recent years, how can we understand them?

Even as racist attacks, while the dominant discourse tells us that it is only legitimate criticism of a religion. Because there is always unequal treatment. Take for example the case facilitator doing Ramadan suspended Gennevilliers: if the pattern is not explicitly racist (a facilitator should be fit to take care of children), the problem is that we do not deal with all zeal other cases the monitor is tired? He drinks alcohol, smokes he? These attacks are the uninhibited expression of racism, which is expressed at the bottom of the social scale as above, taking different forms: attacks, insults, to various forms of discrimination and laws ... It is s' never stops: after removing their veils, girls still have the dress too long!

In two words, I would say that the origins of racism are colonial, and about its current revival, it can be explained in several ways. There Marxist analysis: an ideological operation intended to divide those who should unite and join those who should be divided. And more specifically racist dimension: a kind of panic at a specific time, an ambivalent situation where we spend a quiet racism racism worried racism is quiet when the order imposed unequal in Black in the Arab or Muslim is not disturbed, and there is no need to stigmatize, to insult and make laws. However, when they become visible when they refuse the place where they are assigned, this is where we spend a racism aggressive, talkative, and you suddenly need to stigmatize. Radicalization current can also be interpreted positively: dominated feel confident enough to invest the land where they dared not go before. The written law is the last bastion of the dominant when the order was not written before self is challenged, and that not enough was enough before ...

Interview by Nicolas Pasadena (commission racist AL) and Salima (Val-de-Marne)
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