2009: Volume 2, Issue 1, pp. 91-111

La diversité vue par un journal communautaire maghrébin à Montréal

Marie-France René and Rachad Antonius



This paper proposes an analysis of the way the issue of diversity in Quebec has been covered by the Moroccan community newspaper, Atlas.Mtl. The analysis shows that Atlas.Mtl adopts a logic of negotiation of power relations between citizens of Maghrebi (or North African) origin and the majority, within a hegemonic system that it does not question. Its approach is non-conflictual, and the newspaper adopts a conciliatory tone which does not reject the advantages of a liberal and secular system, in contrast with other more radical community media. It is open to a diversity of opinions. Outside the periods of social tension where the dominant discourse on immigration and diversity became more hostile, the newspaper adopts a tone which is not oppositional. It sees itself as contributing more to information than to negotiation with the majority, but it displays still a clear preoccupation with situations of inequality suffered by its readership. Its general orientation is towards an Arab-Muslim, secular, moderate, and liberal identity, which is specifically part of the Maghrebi diaspora, while still part of a secular society in Quebec. We situate this orientation in the debates between the theoretical current of post-colonial studies, and other theoretical trends that insist on the economic and integrationist orientations of ethnic media. We propose an interpretation of the orientation of the newspaper that makes reference to the great debate, in Arab countries, between Islamism and secular Arab nationalism.



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