France's initial interaction with Muslims occurred during the Umayyad conquest campaigns in North Africa. Settlements in the present-day southwestern Toulouse region of France, which commenced in 720, proved to be impermanent, and the Muslim influence in southern France concluded by 975. 

In fact, France’s commercial and political relations with the Islamic world came only to the fore through the collaboration established between Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent and King Francis I. Due to the treaty granted in 1536, French merchants, missionaries, and diplomats were accorded religious, commercial, and legal privileges within the Ottoman borders. This accord allowed them to reside in significant imperial centers and engage with Muslims. It was only with Napoleon’s invasion of Egypt in 1798 that France’s policy of gaining control over Muslim nations was initiated. France's pursuit of influence over the Muslim countries continued through the conquest of Algeria in 1830 and extended to other Maghreb countries. Yet, this also led to the formation of Muslim communities within France. Simultaneously, the post-World War II industrial boom enticed millions of Muslims to select France as their primary labor destination and eventually the country where they settled.

In present-day France, which boasts the largest Muslim population in Europe, accounting for potentially 10% of its 70 million inhabitants, the topics of "religion," particularly "Islam," frequently emerge as subjects of discussion. These debates are often intertwined with notions like freedom, security, cohesion, modernity, public space, and local identity. Regrettably, these discussions can sometimes foster misunderstandings about Islam, a faith rooted in concepts of peace and trust. Regarding their origin, the majority of Muslims in France hail from North Africa, with 43.2% originating from Algeria, 27.5% from Morocco, and 11.4% from Tunisia. Additional groups of Muslim people in contemporary France hail from sub-Saharan Africa (9.3%) and Türkiye (8.6%).