Social work and Islam: Awkward moments for professionals

Islam in France. Practices and daily lived experiences
By Daniel Verba, Faïza Guélamine


Islam’s increased visibility in France over the past twenty years has challenged social workers to confront new practices that often provoke consternation and cause professional difficulties. Social workers’ relationships with members of society who are motivated by faith, and also with their colleagues, some of whom openly express their Muslim identity, force them to adapt to new religious frames of reference. Social workers are also occasionally compelled to revisit the Christian roots of social work that many of them felt had been left behind by the profession. These patterns also explain the prevalence of reminders of the secular basis of social work, in a sector in which radicalization among the young tends to be perceived as a regressive influence on freedom of expression and, above all, on women’s rights.


  • Social work
  • Religious facts
  • Islam
  • Secularism
  • Radicalization
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