France and Religion

FRANCE … this country is always used as an example whenever one needs to give an example of Religious Tolerance and Crackdown on Religious Extremism. As of now, its name is again on rounds because of the controversy erupted by the new bill brought in the French Parliament which aims to strictly handle the matters of ‘Religious Extremism’. But, the policy seems specifically targeting Islam or say Islamic Extremism. So, whether is France right or wrong, for that let us get into the Bill first.

Emmanuel Macron, pilloried at home and abroad, is Europe's best hope | Emmanuel  Macron | The Guardian

Policies under the Bill

  • HATE SPEECH : This bill says that anyone who spreads personal information about someone with the aim of causing or provoking harm against him, he is punishable of a 3 year imprisonment and a $55000 fine. Similar punishment also apply on threatening or intimidating an elected or a public sector employee.

Now, you only tell me that if anyone is spreading hate speech or sharing someone’s personal information publicly with whatever aim, shouldn’t he be punished. What right do you have to play with someone’s privacy.

  • ORGANISATIONS : Now, it is mandatory for all organizations to get itself registered properly by the state and one can’t remain just self-declared. The main hit is supposed to fall upon those running homeschooling clandestine. Also, sports associations and structures too has been included under this.

Well … many are suspecting a kind of crackdown here, but practically I don’t find it something as that. Getting registered helps any government to keep a check and record properly. So again no issue.

  • STEREOTYPES : Now, any doctor providing Virginity Certificates will be punished. Other than this any forced conversions or stereotypical practices like ‘Polygamy’ and ‘Halala’ are banned, performing them means punishment.

For this. trust me, I would like to give a special pat on the back of France. These crap and rubbish stereotypes should be eradicated as soon as possible. What right do you have to test the Virginity of a Woman … who are you ? Polygamy and Halala … I guess who invented these, these ill practices should found no place ANYWHERE in the world. Here, there were some counter-arguments that it is more of a matter of consent, but NO, if you forcibly or violently make someone give her consent and then say we have consent to do ANYTHING with her. This won’t be tolerated.

  • FOREIGN FUNDING : From now upon, strict financial controls or ‘Anti-Putsch Rules’ will apply on funds coming from abroad for religious associations. Any income of $12000 will have to declared now.

See … here a benchmark has been set above which declaration of income is mandatory. This seems rational again, anyone who gets very large sums must be legally declaring about the source, there is nothing offensive here.

  • PLACE OF WORSHIP : If any religious place is found indulged in hate preaching or terrorism related activities, it will be closed down. Similar ban will also apply on those ‘convicted’ as terrorists.

Here, it has been clearly mentioned that if Hate or Terrorism related activities is propagated in a religious place, then it will be shut. So, there is no point of any objection as it doesn’t apply to those who are NORMAL.

  • NEUTRALITY PRINCIPLE : The Bill further bars any civil servant from voicing any political opinion or wearing any religious symbol

For this again, I would again like to pat FRANCE’s back. I always believe in this, whatever be your personal belief or opinion, if you are a civil servant or at a constitutional post you are a representative of all the citizens of all the faiths, so you must not be boasting a particular religious bias and nor should you be voicing in support or in against of any particular political policy or party.

Triple Talaq: Declare triple talaq, nikah halala, polygamy inconsistent  with fundamental right: Centre to SC - The Economic Times

The Concept of Blasphemy

Blasphemy means speaking sarcastically or offensively against a particular religion, religious god or a religious belief. In most countries there are laws against acts of Blasphemy which means you will be punished if you criticize or insult so called God. But in France, there is no law against it, so here even if badly abuse a particular religious belief, no one can even touch you (of course legally). Few months back, a Muslim extremist beheaded a French teacher because he made a cartoon against Prophet Mohammad. Now … you must be joking for sure if you sympathize with the boy. On expected lines, many Muslim extremists seeked sympathy for the boy but got none from the French authorities and President Macron in fact openly said … that we don’t have any law against Blasphemy.

The Question of Crackdown

See … first of this law doesn’t mention ‘Only Muslim’ in any of its clause, so the laws apply on everyone and there is no discrimination on this. Also, however diplomatically one tried to pass out from here, but the truth is that there has been some extreme cases of Terrorism and Islamic Extremist mindset ran behind which. So, it is obvious that French authorities will try to monitor the funding and religious places. Plus, elections are round the corner in France and the person standing in against of President Macron is even bigger cracker on Islam, MARINE LE PEN, so Macron was desperate in doing something like this so that he isn’t projected too ‘Secular’ in front of her.

France tensions explained in six questions | Middle East Eye

CONCLUSION : Take the Call

If you would ask me personally, I don’t have room for anything in the name of religious sentiments … as I am a FUCKING ATHEIST and I wear it on my sleeve. Yes I respect all religions and beliefs … but your sentiments must be constrained within yourself only, neither do I want to nor should I be forced to be a part of it. Your religious god or belief, anyone, must be great for you but it doesn’t matter to me as I have my own set of beliefs which may or may not believe in yours … it is as simple as that. What I actually want to say that we have to get over petty religious beliefs and the BHAVNAYEIN which get AAHAT very easily nowadays. Since, this incident connects I would also like to connect it with cases where comedian MUNNAVAR FARUQUI was jailed and web show TANDAV faced lawsuits just in the name of hurting religious sentiments. I mean, come on Man, we are no kids, how can someone get offended so easily on such petty issues. We have got right to freedom of speech and expression (without being insulting … of course), but here what happened was merely INTOLERANCE. We are no PAKISTAN or TALIBAN where people are executed on criticizing Allah.

Also, I would like to say here that these practices however deeply instilled they might be in one’s religion contain no rationality or practicality. Tell me … a small girl who has not even known about the world completely, you are succumbing her inside a BURKHA, even when she grows up she is just a ‘Sex Toy’ to be used for a Halala and Polygamy. What is this … doesn’t she has her own life and shouldn’t she be allowed to open her wings. Here, some Muslims may find it offensive but here I am making very clear again … that I respect all religions but religious belief should not take the form of Extremism. Going one step ahead, I am damn sure that any rational person following whichever religion would never advocate for such outrageous stereotypes. Before ending I would again say what I believe that there are only two type of people GOOD and BAD, any ‘Good’ person who practices ‘Islam’ would surely agree with my words and I am pretty confident on that. What about the ‘Bad’ persons … well what they think, I anyway don’t care so Cheers. At last I would only say WE only would have to take the call whether we have to be FRANCE or a TALIBAN and if you ask me my answer would be FRANCE every single time.



References :

  1. France’s controversial ‘separatism’ bill: Seven things to know, By Peter Young, Feb 15, 2021 https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/2/15/frances-controversial-separatism-bill-explained
  2. Blasphemy in France and in Europe : A Right or an Offense ? Interview, Nov 16, 2018 https://www.institutmontaigne.org/en/blog/blasphemy-france-and-europe-right-or-offense

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