Religious freedom

This makes my blood boil.

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As reported by the BBC, an “expert commission” has recommended banning all “overt religious symbols”. This part pissed me off the most though:

“Muslims must understand that secularism is a chance for Islam,” Mr Stasi told a news conference on Thursday.

“Secularism is the separation of church and state, but it is also the respect of differences.”

The commission’s proposed law was intended so people of all religions could “live together in public places”, he said.

What has the choice of a Muslim to wear a head scarf (or Jew a kippa, or Christian a cross) got to do with seclarisation and acceptance of difference? It seems to me these recommendations are born out of an unacceptance of difference – saying that everyone should be secular, that everyone should follow the norm and not have the right to choose to follow their own religious beliefs and express them through what they wear.

The declaration of human rights enshrines an individual’s right to freedom of expression and freedom of religion. Just because you impinge on the right of all religions doesn’t make it any less offensive.

“The objective is to guarantee freedom to every French citizen, with the only restriction that the common rules be respected,” [Mr Chirac] said.

Bullshit. It’s a cynical attempt to deal with the potential for race-inspired violence. It is an admission by the state that it doesn’t know how to deal with racism within it’s society.

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