The blogger is a teacher at european university institute
At the beginning of october, prior to the terrorist murders of a school instructor outside paris and three people in a church in the southern city of nice, french president emmanuel macron established a crackdown on islamist separatism in france. he announced programs for strict settings on religious and social associations, and a ban on residence education aside from wellness explanations.
The french federal government will present a draft law built to strengthen lacit, frances distinctive version of secularism, and consolidate republican axioms, at the beginning of december. the proposals are derived from twoassumptions.
Initially, that jihadist terrorism is fuelled by the spread of islamismorsalafism in frances poor suburbs. and second that way to combat it is to advertise, and even enforce, thevalues of therepublic.
The first presumption is especially important because it warrants focusing on islamist separatism alone, and never other spiritual communities or secular separatist motions, such as corsican nationalism. this may induce decisions that cover anything from preventing muslimstates from giving imamsto france, to forbidding doctors from supplying certificates of virginity. it may in addition requirepublic servicesto report early signs of radicalisation usuallyno more than a show of devotionsuch as prayingin public.and widening the states capability to proscribe organisations considered bad for the republic, mr macron features urged an expansion of current counter-radicalisation programs.
The proposals raisetwo key questions. what is the link between islamismand terrorist violence? and do you know the republican values the government wants to protect and enhance?
My study of the responsible for previous terrorist attacks on french soil tv show, contrary to the now prominent view,that they were not radicalised by a salafiincubation within the mosques and spiritual schools of frances deprived suburbs. rather, most had been radicalised among small sets of pals and loved ones,often in a milieu characterised by petty crime and delinquency. they used the web locate texts and determination, andmade little if any mention of the the tenets of sharia law.they originated in the margins of muslim life in france, perhaps not the center.
Could the steps now being recommended have avoided any of the terrorist attackscarried out in france since the bombing regarding the paris metro in 1995?the solution, it seems for me, is no.
The 2nd assumption behind the draft legislation that reasserting the values of this republic is central to fighting islamism raises twofurther questions. exactly what are thesespecific values?and what does it mean to imposethemona community likely to support freedom of opinion and belief?
It holds true there has-been an improvement in france in the last 2 full decades of the things i call neo-fundamentalism. by this after all the transformation of traditionalforms of islaminto a method of specific normsthat have animpacton personal life, including the wearing regarding the hijab, calls for the eating of halal food and refusing to shake-hands with ladies.
Neo-fundamentalism has brought root in some of frances many underprivileged areas, whilst the countrys social cracks have deepened. which have also offered rise to non-religious protest movements, including the gilets jaunes. but what is the alternativethat republican values tend to be supposed to embody?
These values had been notencoded in the legislation of 1905 that establishedthe split of chapel and state. the values regarding the republic in those days were secularised traditional christian values ladies didn't have the ability to vote and homosexuality was criminalised.
The republican values that presidentmacronrefers to are clearly the liberal values of sixties: sex equality, intimate freedom, coeducation and thus on.but howdothese vary from the values of various other countries in europe?
What's particularly french towards values the president has actually opted for to protect is lacit, or secularism. the draft lawwould have the effectation of decreasing the display of spiritual trust, and not soleley islam, in public life, frequently at the expense of the very liberal values freedom of religion, thought and speech thatit is supposed to protect.
To see these concerns, as some experts do, through lens of racism misses the idea. many secular muslims tend to be singing supporters of thefight for republican values. conversely, many conservativecatholicsfeel increasingly uneasy with existing interpretations of lacit.and though some are dangerous to islam, they reject ab muscles concept of exactly what mr macron calls the right to blasphemy.the real issue right here, for that reason, is really what continues to be of religious freedom inside our secularised republic.