Emmanuel Macron, the President of France, recently announced a new law, seeking to prevent religious separatism. His goal is to free Islam from possible outside influences in France, putting in place new measures in order to achieve this. He wants French citizens to know that his promise of achieving equality and freedom will be honoured, as well as defending the republic and its values.
These measures are being used to combat issues of radical Islam and terrorism. They include giving more authority to local officials to tackle extremism, and investing money into education that specializes in Islamic culture, involving other social issues such as housing or income. Another measure includes placing religious places such as Mosques under further restrictions, requiring that Imams be trained and certified to preach the religion in France. Similarly, Islamic associations that accept funding from the state will be forced to sign a “secular charter.” If the organizations promote ideals that do not align with the values of the republic then they may be forced to disband. The money from the public funds would serve a different purpose, meaning they would invest in education studies and research into the culture and civilization of Islam.
Macron stated that it is important to fight those who are extremists whilst protecting those who are followers of Islam and citizens of the republic. He suggested that radical Islam promotes other values that goes against the institution of the republic. Macron has also acknowledged that issues of extremism have arisen partly as a result of France’s own separatism in certain areas. This is mainly due to the large concentrations of individuals that are of similar origin and religion, resulting in “economic and educational difficulties.”
The President announced that there will be extra funding set aside for the country’s education system. He declared that, given the strong influence that education plays in a child’s life, children from the age of three will be required to attend school. In so doing, Macron seeks to ensure that the influence of the republic will be disseminated through the entire country from early childhood. He said it should be in “every road” and “building.” This speech that Macron delivered on Friday was a vague outline of the measures that are going to be implemented. He also stated that there must be a “profound change” in order to solve the country’s social issues which will be added to the new measures. However, more information will be provided within the next two weeks as the law is to be enacted in December.
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