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The Secession of French Muslims

The Secession of French Muslims

Date Published: 
Thursday, 1 September, 2016
Summary: 
  • In the French republic, state schools were built to fight the grip of the Catholic church on the whole of French society. The thinking was that Darwin is better at explaining the origin of the human race than the Bible. To build a country of free citizens: knowledge first; belief only if you insist, and even then, only by yourself.

  • "If the hijab or burkini had anything to do with modesty or piety, the Islamic fundamentalists would have sought private beaches, not insisted on forcing themselves on the public. ... If the hijab becomes an accepted public phenomenon, a modern society cannot teach its future generations that a woman's dress is not an excuse for rape". — Hala Arafa, writing in The Hill.

  • A French Muslim society that often seems to feel as if it still belongs to its country of origin, appears to have decided that the game of secularism and "living together" should be over. With veils, burkinis and guns, various Islamists groups seem to be trying to embed the same message: We remain Muslims first and have decided to pay no attention to the culture of countries in which we are living

The consensus can be summarized like this: Religious beliefs cannot belong to the public sphere without risking tyranny or civil war. If French citizens want to live in peace democratically, all disturbing subjects -- especially faith in a country of multiple faiths -- must remain strictly private.