Communitarianism within the youth discipline and sport: report lastly printed

Jean Damien Lesay for Localtis

The reports of the Inspectorate General for National Education, Sports and Research (IGESR) continue to be published in drops and drabs a few months after their completion. Last delivery: report on “Phenomena of communitarianism in sports and youth associations, in the collective admission of minors or in other structures for the admission of young people”. Posted in July 2021 and published online until the end of April. The most notable date to remember in this report is October 21, 2020, the day a note from the IGESR chief appointed two pilots and a project manager to do so … five days after the assassination of Samuel Pat by a radical Islamist. The name of the professor of history-geography from Conflans-Sainte-Honorine is also mentioned several times in the report.

Cases limited to variable intensity

To address the problem, the authors state in their introduction that since the 1980s, France has been experiencing “an increase in communitarianism and an accentuation of communitarianism, especially within the Arab-Muslim community, but also a wave of” newer “immigration. They add: “If some phenomena of communitarianism can be associated with strict political and cultural demands […]In the same way, if “several warnings” have been reported concerning evangelical Protestant, fundamentalist Catholic and ultra-Orthodox Jewish movements, they concern the Muslim religion in particular, with a general impression of increased growth and visibility. “

This represents – not entirely clear – the mission focused its research on three types of manifestations corresponding to what it considers to be “community shifts”. […] questioning the foundations of the republic and common life ”: the negation of republican values ​​and principles, the withdrawal of an identity or community with a confirmation of an identity different from the national community, and attempts at proselytism under pressure. Research has led to the claim that “all structures, regardless of their origin or purpose, are subject to community requirements, tensions or pressures”, although this remains “limited in number and intensity, but sometimes worrying.” The report even mentions testimonies. , which “seem to show that two cases of professional football clubs could be affected by these phenomena for some time”.

Under the radar

The mission also noted “blind spots” arising from new, less organized and standardized sports practices (outdoor activities, urban open access facilities, private and commercial offers). He highlights, for example, the case of sports equipment made available by local authorities, where local authorities “do not provide any supervision, which can sometimes lead to forms of” confiscation “of their use, most often by groups of young people, often male.”

Finally, the mission claims to have “received numerous testimonies, especially in the suburbs of cities, small or large”, about “gray areas in development” in connection with the offerings of several services, “which suggest replacing the shortcomings of public authorities”. These structures organize assistance with homework, sports and cultural activities, even short-term stays, “enabling the organizers to circumvent regulations in terms of mass admission of minors. […] even sometimes, as in Hauts-de-France, national educators working on a voluntary basis. ‘ some constructions do not require subsidies or the use of municipal facilities, “the report states.

Weakened public services

This pressure takes various forms. The report first cites individual requirements regarding, for example, the practice of Ramadan, shower rejection or discreet prayers. “Uncommon but more problematic,” according to the report, demands and behaviors are often of a collective nature related to the denial of diversity. Finally, the mission reports isolated cases of attempts to enter clubs, associations or community centers, as well as the existence of partially or completely community clubs, most often male ones. He states that these cases are “subject to vigilance by the authorities”, but also that “the intervention of an elected official or community action can reverse the trend relatively quickly, even if it is sometimes necessary to ‘break the abscess’. and expel the leader ”.

How can these phenomena be explained? The mission mentions socio-economic inequalities, urban isolation and discrimination, but also “approximate or even misunderstandings of secularism”, weakened public services in certain neighborhoods with youth and sport governance problems – the report acknowledges that these services “have lost human resources and leverage, which enable them to have in-depth knowledge of actors in this field “- as well as” skills that are too shared within public authorities “- this is services and the various levels of local authorities, not to mention the CAF models – and “heterogeneous practices at local authority level”, in particular “the desire of some elected representatives to respond to all requests for assistance and subsidies so that no one, and especially their voters, does not like it”.

If, since 2014, public authorities have taken action in a relatively proactive way, in particular through “creating a common culture of vigilance in administrations and federations”, the mission at local level points out, “It is more difficult to act by refusing, ignorance of what is allowed or not stigmatization of their association, club or sport ’. “It is to these local actors that the established tools and training are trying to reach,” he says, “especially the territorial agents, especially those who are present in the municipal facilities. [qui] they are among the first to observe violations of republican principles and anti-coexistence behavior. “

Partially expected recommendations

The mission worked during the parliamentary debate on the draft law confirming respect for the principles of the republic, which was finally adopted on 23 July 2021 (read our article of 26 July 2021), some of its proposals overlap with the provisions currently in force. However, it should be noted that if communities now have to appoint “secular officers” and if civil servants have to be trained in the principle of secularism, the same does not apply to local elected officials, as required by the mission.

In another direction, the recommendation aimed at developing cooperation between managers of all public aid for the consistent application of conditionality of aid under the Republican Treaty is largely found in Section 63 of the Act. This stipulates that the prefect informs the mayor when the association’s consent is withdrawn or suspended, and that in this case the mayor may withdraw the subsidy or suspend the provision of public facilities.

The report’s authors, on the other hand, regret that if the law now obliges approved federations to report behavior that is contrary to republican principles, their desire to “create a tool for reporting actors “was not ultimately monitored.

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