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Séparatisme religieux et principes républicains

  • February 2021

The willingness shown by the Head of State to fight against "religious separatism" has been concretised in a draft law confirming the respect of the principles of the Republic". The bill was sent on 17 November to the presidents of the National Assembly and the Senate. In December, a series of hearings were held in the National Assembly in the framework of the special committee charged with examining the bill. The draft was then examined by the Council of Ministers on 9 December, and finally in Parliament in January 2021.

On this occasion, the deputies discussed the religious neutrality of the elected representatives. Two amendments (proposed by the radical left-wing party La France insoumise and the majority party La République en marche) brought this debate. The aim was to extend the principle of neutrality, which prohibits public service employees from manifesting their religious affiliation during the exercise of their duties, to elected representatives, and in particular to prohibit them from attending a religious ceremony. Currently, elected officials are not subject to religious neutrality. A tacit rule, supported by case law, provides that an elected official participating in a religious ceremony as a representative of a public administration (and not as an elected official) must abstain from any personal mark of adherence to the religion. But nothing is precisely written in the law and the vagueness persists. Following these debates, the amendments were finally rejected.

Nevertheless, the representatives of religious denominations do not hide their concern about this project, which they consider to have a negative impact on all religions that is disproportionate to its possible interest in combating radical Islamism. Many feel that it casts an unjustified suspicion on the whole religious and associative world. The spirit of the text is that of a special treatment of religions in a security perspective, which makes secularism evolve, from a regulation of the organisation of religions with respect for the freedom of all under the supervision of a neutral State to a model of diffusion of republican values defined by the State.

See also : - Discourse of the President Emmanuel Macron
- Cécile Chambraud, "Mosquées, imams… Les propositions de Macron pour un islam ’libéré des influences étrangères’" », Le Monde, 2 October 2020
- Alexandre Lemarié, Olivier Faye, “Emmanuel Macron présente son plan contre le séparatisme islamique, Le Monde, 2 October 2020
- FranceTv info

D 9 février 2021    AAnne-Laure Zwilling

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