Aware of the political weight of France's Muslim voters, the country's politicians have been putting Ramadan on their political agenda, and it is now an opportunity for ministers, mayors, associations and elites of other religions to show themselves with the Muslim community and join its own religious events.
This is what the French magazine "L'Obs" began a report by its writer Sarah Dahfalah devoted to the place of this month in France in the past and in the present, noting that the "breakfasts" in the current month did not go out of the ordinary as they turned into political bets, which is evidence of the integration of Islam and practicing and non-religious Muslims into the French political scene, but Ramadan has now become part of the collective life of the French, according to her.
Lopes goes on to take a history of France with Ramadan, pointing out that the authorities of this country paid attention to this ritual during the colonial era, especially at the beginning of the 20th century when they decided to use the breakfast cannon to declare the end of Ramadan.
The conservative newspaper Le Petit Journal described that moment in its January 6, 1936 issue: "A cannon shot in the cities and the call to prayer of a sheikh in the countryside, this is how the end of fasting is announced." The newspaper goes on to later say, "The Sultan will call on God to cherish Islam and destroy the Christian princes."
Algerian writer and journalist Akram Belkaid Elias argues in his book "Ramadan and Politics" (CNRS edition, 2000) that during the colonial period, Ramadan represented an opportunity to assert identity, as Algeria's Muslim population felt part of a much larger society, the Islamic Ummah, and that embodied a sense of true identity.
During World War I, the French army adapted to the religious practices of its Muslim soldiers and facilitated their fasting, according to Dalah, as they were from different parts of the Islamic world and were relatively large in number, with 70,<> killed in the battle of Verdun alone. Aware of the importance of their role, the authorities took action.
In a France 24 article dedicated to Ramadan in the trenches, an official cable from the Ministry of War published by the Catholic newspaper L'Eclair recalls the French government's "eagerness" to "respect" the religion of the "courageous" Mohammedan (Muslim) soldiers present in France.
This cable sets out meal times and the behavior to be followed at the time of breaking the fast and when Eid al-Fitr arrives, and urges the improvement of meals at those times and taking into account the customs of Muslims.
The American writer Richard S. Fogarty, who is interested in France's role in World War I, attributes these facilities to preventing a rebellion within the military units of Muslim soldiers or within the colonies.
According to the same article, the exploitation of the Islamic religion was repeated in World War II, specifically under the "Pétain" regime, and in the last two years of conflict after the landing in North Africa on November 8, 1942, which separated Maghreb residents living in France from their countries of origin.
More than ever, the French state has sought to ensure that North Africans support its war effort, and has had to prove to these people who are far from their families, language and country that they are at home by empathizing with them on special occasions.
During Ramadan 1943, the French authorities ordered that Muslims be able to celebrate Eid al-Fitr and recommended that Muslim-frequented restaurants remain open late at night despite the curfew imposed on the area at the time.
Despite the war, as part of a major propaganda campaign, the authorities even distributed generous food rations, including some couscous, tea and meat, and even gave these men a day off and provided them with Islamic-style slaughters.