Thursday, January 22, 2009

President Sarkozy proposes: “Arabic Is the Language of the Future”

(ChattahBox) — The French government and particularly it’s President seem to be strongly advocating the teaching of Arabic language and civilization in French schools. In 2006 the United States Department of State placed the Muslim population in France at roughly 10%. In accordance with a law dating from 1872, the French Republic does not ask about religion or ethnic origin in its census. In his message to the participants at the French National Assembly earlier this month, French President Nicolas Sarkozy called Arabic the “language of the future, of science and of modernity,” and expressed the hope that “more French people share in the language that expresses great civilizational and spiritual values.”

“We must invest in the Arabic language (because) to teach it symbolizes a moment of exchange, of openness and of tolerance, (and it) brings with it one of the oldest and most prestigious civilizations of the world. It is in France that we have the greatest number of persons of Arabic and Muslim origin. Islam is the second religion of France,” Sarkozy reminded his listeners.

Sarkozy proceeded to list the various “advances in terms of diversity,” the increase in Muslim sections of cemeteries, the training of imams and chaplains and the appointments of ministers of diverse backgrounds.

“France is a friend of Arabic countries. We are not seeking a clash between the East and West,” he affirmed, emphasizing the strong presence of Arab leaders at the founding summit of the Union for the Mediterranean, last July 13. “The Mediterranean is where our common hopes were founded. Our common sea is where the principal challenges come together: durable development, security, education and peace.”