The Right of a State to Secularise sign now

The French Republic constitutionally places huge importance in secularity. Its Constitution of 1946 clearly states that the state has a duty to provide secular public education at all levels. The promulgation of 1905 emphatically commands a separation of Church and State.

2. Freedom to manifest one's religion shall be subject to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of public safety, for the protection of public order, health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.

The people of the state of Frances democratically elected representatives should be free to pass legislation banning conspicuous religious wear from schools, as it, the legislation, has backing from the public, and it is a valid step towards a more equal, secular society.

Recent French legislation has been paraded as a ban on Islamic headscarves. It isnt, its a ban on all religious symbols, including for example crucifixes. Those with truly progressive minds should recognise this law for what it is, a matter of equality and secularism within education. One reason it has been claimed that this law is a ban on the Hijab is because Muslims seem to be the only community making a huge, unnecessary fuss about it. Jewish skullcaps and Sikh turbans have also been disallowed, with no mass protest from fundamentalist Jews or Sikhs. This is ironic as the Koran is clear on a Muslims duty to comply with the laws of the country in which he or she is residing.

Note, this statement from a recent conference, "The governments of some of these countries have claimed that they are protecting Muslim women from being forced into wearing the Hijab. They think we are weak and controlled by our husbands and fathers. I assure you we are not. We are liberated, highly educated."

Undoubtedly many Muslim women wear their Hijabs perfectly consentingly and are indeed highly educated, but it should be observed that this law applies only to schools up to the age of eighteen. And for many, wearing the Hijab is something that is hugely imposed upon them from a young age. As with most young childrens religious mentality, parental influence is vast. One of the most important aspects of this ban is that it will remove unhealthy influence of this sort from the classroom, and instead make school a place where people are more equal and less obviously divided by religion in any way.

Claiming that the right to wear a Hijab is a matter of equality is simply nonsensical, as this law is not a ban on the Hijab it is a ban on all visible religious symbols. Banning all is not a matter of inequality; it is a matter of equality.

We call up on opponents of this legislation to reconsider their stance. This legislation is progressive and not at all illiberal. We call upon opponents of this legislation to look at what happens when religion and the state are allowed to institutionally mix. We call upon opponents of this legislation to observe the right of a democratically elected legislature, especially one of a constitutionally secular state, to introduce laws making society observe no difference between individuals due to religion.

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Florine VangBy:
Technology and the InternetIn:
Petition target:
Opponents of France's Ban on Religious Symbols


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