mfioretti: secularism*

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  1. We should not deny the horror of January 6. But, in its aftermath, rather than uncritically reaffirm French national identity and wring our hands about Muslims’ refusal to integrate, we should use this moment of reflection to understand the various ways in which Muslims are consistently excluded from the nation, and to reassess the narrow bases what it means to be French.
    https://theconversation.com/the-frenc...onversationedu+%28The+Conversation%29
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  2. After a decade of legal uncertainty over the wearing of the headscarf in state schools, the French government in 2004 banned all “conspicuous” religious symbols, including the Muslim headscarf, from public institutions such as state schools or town halls. This was followed in 2010 by what the French call the “burqa ban”, outlawing the full face covering in public. Critics accuse France of illiberalism, of curbing freedom of religious expression, and of imposing a Western interpretation of female oppression. Amnesty International, for example, called the recent European court ruling “a profound retreat for the right to freedom of expression and religion”. For the French, however, it is part of an unapologetic effort to keep religious expression private, and to uphold the country’s republican secular identity. Interestingly, many moderate Muslim leaders also back the ban as a bulwark against hard-line Islam.

    Had the European Court ruled against France, it would have prompted an outcry there. The country enjoys broad cross-party support for applying secular principles, on the left and the right, and the court accepted that it was part of France’s effort to encourage a society based on “living together”. If anything, the judgment will reinforce France’s resolve to protect its secular tradition.
    http://www.economist.com/blogs/econom...o_strict_about_islamic_head_coverings
    Tags: , , , by M. Fioretti (2014-07-09)
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