Institute Concerned by French Government Attempts to Impose Secularism. PCP. Report

Image

Washington, D.C. - July 4. The Institute on Religion and Public Policy is concerned by a new law proposed in France to ban Muslim veils and other religious symbols in public schools and buildings if people do not respect the republic's secular policies. Stepping into a growing debate about the veils, Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin said he hoped that France's secular tradition - which demands a strict separation between the state and all religions - was strong enough to win respect by all residents. "But if there is not a consensus, especially on symbols and behaviour linked to religion in public facilities, I will not hesitate to enforce respect for secularism by law," he told a meeting of French and foreign Freemasons. "The right of a citizen to practice their beliefs - in this case with the wearing of a religious veil - is a fundamental right ensconced in international law and in international agreements, as well as a cornerstone of a democratic society," commented Institute President Joseph K. Grieboski. "A legislative imposition of secularism on religious believers in France is religious discrimination in its most dangerous form." Several conservative legislators have called for an "anti-veil law" but others hesitate because of the ramifications it could have, such as banning yarmulkes for Jewish boys or necklaces with a cross for Christian girls. "Over the last few years policymakers in France have moved ahead with dangerous legislative trends that limit significantly the rights of religious believers," Mr. Grieboski continued. "From the establishment of a Parliamentary Sect List in 1996 which arbitrarily named hundreds of groups as 'dangerous sects and cults' to the passage in 2001 of the About/Pickard Law entitled, 'To reinforce the prevention and repression of groups of a sectarian nature,' which aims to restrict the free expression, growth, and development of religious groups, the contemporary history of the French Government toward the rights of religious believers is less than encouraging." About five million of France's 60 million population are Muslims, with roughly half of them immigrants and half born in France. They made up Europe's largest Muslim community and the second religion in France after Roman Catholicism. No exact statistics exist because France's secular tradition means the national census forms cannot ask about religion.

You May Also Like

Image

Injustice Unveiled: The Ordeal of Nabeel Masih – From Youthful Imprisonment to the Looming Threat of Reimprisonment in Pakistan

London: (By Hannah Chowdhry and Juliet Chowdhry) Fear looms over Nabeel Masih, who was the youngest prisoner of blasphemy in Pakistan ever, as he f

Image

International Sufi Conference by Voice For Peace and Justice Promotes Peace and Harmony in Jammu and Kashmir.

Srinagar: The Voice for Peace and Justice, a Non-Governmental Organization, hosted a second International Conference on "Towards the Transform

Image

Desperate Search: A Father’s Plea for his Missing Daughter after another Christian child mysteriously disappears in Pakistan

Muridke:  A 13-year-old Christian girl has gone missing in Basra Colony, Muridke. The child had gone out in the morning to buy milk from



"Trial of Pakistani Christian Nation" By Nazir S Bhatti

On demand of our readers, I have decided to release E-Book version of "Trial of Pakistani Christian Nation" on website of PCP which can also be viewed on website of Pakistan Christian Congress www.pakistanchristiancongress.org . You can read chapter wise by clicking tab on left handside of PDF format of E-Book.

nazirbhattipcc@aol.com , pakistanchristianpost@yahoo.com