Like colonial-feminism, contemporary nativist feminism equates French, or more broadly Western, culture with an ideal of female emancipation while reducing Muslim-Arab culture to the image of a veiled and oppressed woman. At a local level, French Muslim women's activism creates a valuable opportunity for France to renew dialogue and rebuild relationships with its religious and ethnic minorities. Though nativist feminist discourse dominated the media and literary mainstream, it did not represent the sum total of feminist activism in France, nor did it prevent French Muslim women from developing critical tools of their own. But the work of these activists also has implications that transcend the French context. In particular, their commitment to a 'practical idealism' that brings the emphasis on difference typical of international influences into dialogue with the universal ideals of the French Republic, suggests ways of avoiding the misuse of humanist, feminist and Islamic ideals without reducing all ideals to oppressive ideologies.