France’s much vaunted secularism is not the neutral space it claims to be ~ Giles Fraser, The Guardian, Friday 16 January 2015.
There is a huge difference between targeting grand bishops in Rome and a beleaguered, economically fragile Muslim community.
At the start of this year, the school in the little French town of Sargé-lès-le-Mans instituted a “pork or nothing” policy. Muslim and Jewish kids have either to eat pork or go hungry. Apparently this move is necessary to “save secularism”, according to National Front leader Marine le Pen. “We will accept no religious requirements in the school lunch menus,” she said. “There is no reason for religion to enter the public sphere.”
The glorious triumph of atheistic rationality over the dangerous totalitarian obscurantism of the Catholic church is one of the great foundation myths of republican France. And coded within this mythology is the message that…
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