Today in France, research on the most contested issues of race and religion is taboo unless one exhibits the «right» politics. To speak at conferences or to be considered for important posts, a scholar must be prepared to describe the colonial era in French history as nothing less than an exercise in genocide and to denounce American policy in the Middle East as barbaric cruelty. Those who refuse to comply find themselves shut out.
A notable instance of such blacklisting occurred in 2004, when a scholar applied for a three-year position at the prestigious Collège International de Philosophie. His credentials were formidable, but when his «pro-American» views became known to one member of the committee (the candidate, it seemed, was not completely opposed to the war in Iraq), a quiet but effective campaign was organized to deny him the post. Details of the case were reported in the weekly newspaper L’Express. The name of the unjustly treated candidate was Robert Redeker.
The Redeker Affair