- May 2007 : HALDE reminder about the conditions for applying the principle of secularity
Xavier Darcos, Minister for Education, has brought to mind that "the process of selecting parents who are to be asked to accompany school trips, should take place without discrimination".
This statement came after deliberations by the High Authority for the Struggle Against Discrimination and for Equality (HALDE) on 14th May 2007 that considered that "a refusal in principle to allow students’ mothers who wear a headscarf" to participate in school trips is "contrary to provisions prohibiting religious discrimination."
The HALDE recalls that the law of 15th March 2004 on wearing religious symbols in schools does not apply to parents and that "religious freedom cannot be restricted in ways not prescribed by the law ... " in accordance with Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
See the text of the HALDE resolution.
- March 2007 : Religious influence on politics
In the perspective of the upcoming presidential elections in France, many are interested in the influence religious affiliations might have with regard to voting intentions.
In March 2007, the French Institute for Public Opinion (IFOP) published, in Réforme newspaper, a survey onvoting intentions of Protestants. It is observable that Protestants would vote for Nicholas Sarkozy (34% over 28% of voting intentions) or for François Bayrou (27% over 24%) compared to the overall French population. They would vote less for Jean-Marie Le Pen (8% over 13%).
In February 2007, the IFPO also published, in La Croix newspaper, a survey on voting intentions of Catholics. It is not surprising to observe that 51% of Catholics are set to vote for the right wing while there 62% of practicing Catholics holding the same opinion. Jean-Marie Le Pen and Philippe de Villiers (ultra right wing) would both obtain more than 20% of votes from practicing Catholics. On the contrary, François Bayrou (UDF) would obtain only 19% of the voting intentions of Catholics and 18% of practicing Catholics.
In December 2006, the institute had already released a publication analysing the political orientation of the Muslims in France. The Muslims are generally inclined to left wing compared to the rest of the French population. An escalating number of Muslims who claim to be voting for the Socialist Party has been observed (rising from 45% to 54 % between 2005 and 2006).
In June 2006, IFPO had also published, in Le Figaro newspaper, a more general political study on the political orientation of the Jews in France.
- March 2007 : Opening of a Muslim high school
On 5 March 2007, after months of administrative and legal negotiations, "Al-Kindi", a private Muslim high school opened its doors to about 20 GCSE students in Décines, a suburban area in Lyon. The aim is to accommodate 150 pupils the next academic year beginning in September 2007.
After "Réussite" secondary school in Auberviliers (near Paris) and "Averroès" high school in Lille, "Al-Kindi" becomes the third private Muslim establishment of secondary education in metropolitan France. Meanwhile, a grant-aided Muslim primary school exists since 1990 in La Réunion (the French overseas department).