On Saturday, a memorial ceremony was held in France in honor of those who died during the terrorist attack in Nice. Prime Minister Castex said that the country will fight irreconcilably against Islamism. Against the background of the events of recent weeks, there was a discussion about the principles of French laicism in the press.
Masks are obligatory, and the veil is forbidden?
Although religion is officially considered a private matter of citizens in France, the state nevertheless interferes in the life of the country’s Muslim community, — writes The Irish Times:
“The political culture of France attaches great importance to what is called ‘laicism’ — a doctrine that implies the absolute disregard by the state of the religious and ideological views of its citizens… Despite laicism, many Muslims believe that French society is far from turning a blind eye to their ethnic origin or religion. At a time when masks are mandatory everywhere, it is hard to believe that a couple of years ago, the French state wanted to punish Muslim women for hiding their faces or bathing in clothes that completely cover their bodies.
Discrimination against Islam at the state level
The French state considers Islam to be a problem,” writes sociologist Jean-Francois Bayard on the pages of Le Monde:
“Fear, disgust, and rage of the masses [after both attacks] create a breeding ground for ideologists who claim a monopoly on the interpretation of the notion of the republic… But in reality, there is ingrained Islamophobia at the state level — when the police practice unambiguously illegal and systematic discrimination against young people and adolescents of Muslim origin. Such a state is by no means ‘neutral towards religions’. In recent decades, the state has overstated the importance and prestige of Judaism and Christianity by developing so-called positive secularism towards them. Islam, on the other hand, wants to subordinate the French state politically — to keep it under control under the pretext of education.
Macron sends the right signals
Neue Zurcher Zeitung considers it absurd to claim that Macron is conducting a hate campaign against Islam:
“It cannot be denied that many Muslims are discriminated against in France. And it cannot be denied that the ruling circles … also allow inappropriate statements… However, Macron has repeatedly made it clear that he considers Islam to be part of French society. When in early October he presented his strategy of struggle against ‘Islamist separatism’, he spoke about the importance of its realization together with Muslims of France. And he urged not to get caught in a trap …. And not to condemn indiscriminately all adherents of this faith. Last Thursday in Nice, he called on all French to be united — regardless of religion. In difficult times, it is especially important … to stay the course.”
Keep the poison from spreading
French Foreign Minister Le Drian made the following statement to the Muslim world: your culture is a part of France and Europe. As Liberation stresses, strengthening unity in society must be a top priority:
“The greatest danger will arise if France, with its large Muslim community, split over identity and religion — then the extremists will open all the way. This is exactly what Islamists want to achieve. There is instability in our world, and it is unacceptable to let the poison of intolerance and hatred spread — that would be the height of irresponsibility. Any government that would allow this to happen would bear a heavy responsibility for all subsequent events. After the terrorist attack in Nice, representatives of the church and the Islamic religious community did not hesitate to call for unity.