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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Moroccan-Dutch Novelist On Growing Up Muslim In Europe

Moroccan-Dutch novelist Abdelkader Benali, pictured here in 2011, recently wrote a New York Times op-ed about the anger of Europe's young marginalized Muslims. (Matěj Baťha/Wikimedia Commons)

Moroccan-Dutch novelist Abdelkader Benali, pictured here in 2011, recently wrote a New York Times op-ed about the anger of Europe’s young marginalized Muslims. (Matěj Baťha/Wikimedia Commons)

The Charlie Hebdo attacks turned a spotlight on a part of France tourists don’t often see: the suburbs or banlieues that ring Paris, many of which are home to high concentrations of young Muslims.

After the attacks, an association representing 120 French mayors issued a statement warning that the economic disparities these young Muslims face must be addressed. Young Muslims were quoted saying they feel like they live in another country, and want to be regarded as truly French.

Here & Now’s Robin Young talks with Moroccan-Dutch novelist Abdelkader Benali about the first time he felt the conflict between his religion and the secular society he was growing up in — the Dutch city of Rotterdam in the late 1980s — and how he worked through it.

Benali also discusses the issues facing young Muslims in Europe today.

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Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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