Latest update: 07/04/2011
France's ruling UMP party defies calls to cancel debate on secularism
France's ruling UMP party has gone ahead with a controversial debate on secularism. It was held despite opposition from key political figures, including the Prime Minister, fearing that it would stigmatise the country's Muslims. The leaders of France's six biggest religions even came together to issue an unprecedented joint statement, asking the party to cancel the debate.