Displaying items by tag: secularism
The text of the 1905 French law that lays down the separation of church and state in the country doesn't specifically mention secularism. Nevertheless, the principle is a key part of the country's political fabric. But tensions between some sections of Islam and an interpretation of secular values have now become more pronounced, particularly in recent weeks. Protests have erupted in recent days in many Muslim countries against France, its president, Emmanuel Macron, and its perceived animosity towards their faith. France claims it is officially neutral, supporting neither religion nor the absence of it.
Religion is again at the forefront of French public debate. After an 84-year-old former far-right candidate fired shots at a mosque in Bayonne, Emmanuel Macron evoked the French concept of ‘laïcité’ in a speech at the inauguration of a European Centre for Judaism. Defined as the concept of separation of church and state, it has also been at the centre of debates about wearing religious symbols in public. Macron said, ‘Laïcité is a tenet of fraternity that should live in each French person like a compass in their relationship to other citizens - that is essentially a form of French civility. I want to recall it at this moment in our nation's history, where these values of unity and cohesiveness are sometimes distorted and used by those who, seeking to sow hatred and division, use it to fight against this or that religion.’