WHAT IS WRONG WITH FRENCH SECULARISM

Promod Puri

Unlike in Canada, French Secularism sees no hyphenated identities – only French or Not French. Whereas, in Canada, its social, religious and political strengths lie in its clearcut multicultural identities. For example, Chinese-Canadians, Indo/South-Asian Canadians, Latino- Canadians, etc., etc.

The French majority population seeks freedom of expression by suppressing the freedoms of minorities as to how they should wear and worship.

France needs pluralistic Secularism – one that tolerates minority ethnic communities’ cultural and religious symbols and values. For example, in 2015, a Muslim advocacy group sued a municipal authority to offer an alternative to pork in school cafeterias. The group won the case not because it violated religious freedom but the menu violated children’s rights.

French Secularism needs some adjustments to be secular in its contemporary multicultural society. It can’t be monolithic.

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