Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FOCUS

As France’s Carrefour pulls out, what next for India’s retail market?

Read more

#TECH 24

Internet of Things

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014 (part 2)

Read more

REPORTERS

Halal tourism on the rise

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014

Read more

#THE 51%

Sweden: A Feminist's Paradise?

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Search of Air Algerie crash site continues

Read more

WEB NEWS

NSA targets 'Tor' network users

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users call for peace in Gaza

Read more

  • Israel denies responsibility for air strike on Gaza hospital

    Read more

  • France offers asylum to Iraqi Christians

    Read more

  • Moroccan police arrest French al-Qaeda recruiter

    Read more

  • French footballer Griezmann headed to Atletico Madrid

    Read more

  • Video: Slaviansk mourns mass grave victims

    Read more

  • Luc Besson’s sci-fi thriller ‘Lucy’ tops US box office

    Read more

  • France honours those lost on Air Algérie Flight AH5017

    Read more

  • Video: Ethiopia turns to wine to boost image, economy

    Read more

  • Thousands gather in Marseille in support of Israel

    Read more

  • As France’s Carrefour pulls out, what next for India’s retail market?

    Read more

  • Liberia tightens border controls to curb Ebola outbreak

    Read more

  • The centenary of Austria-Hungary’s calamitous last hurrah

    Read more

  • UN Security Council calls for immediate Gaza ceasefire

    Read more

  • Nibali joins elite group with Tour de France win

    Read more

  • France calls on its nationals to leave Libya as violence escalates

    Read more

  • Boko Haram kidnap Cameroon minister's wife in deadly attack

    Read more

  • Muslims prepare for Eid al-Fitr festival

    Read more

  • ‘Irresponsible’ American dad tries to scale Mont Blanc with children

    Read more

  • Ukraine fighting prevents observers from accessing MH17 crash site

    Read more

Europe

Sarkozy party launches debate on Islam, secularism

Text by FRANCE 24 (with wires)

Latest update : 2011-04-05

As the April 11 date approaches for the implementation of a ban on wearing full face veils in public places, French President Nicolas Sarkozy's UMP party opens a debate on secularism and Islam amid signs of dissent within the party.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy's Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) party opens a controversial debate Tuesday on secularism and Islam amid signs of dissent from within his own party over the merits of re-opening discussions on such a hot-button issue.

The debate has been criticised by Sarkzoy’s detractors as a political ploy by the UMP to make inroads into the far-right National Front’s electoral base ahead of the 2012 presidential election.

Over the past few days, however, some of the French president’s top officials have voiced concern over the issue. French Prime Minister François Fillon, who has previously expressed fears about stigmatising the Muslim community in France, says he will not participate.

But UMP chief Jean-François Copé, who has vociferously supported the French ban on wearing full Islamic veils, has said he intends to offer new answers to a problem that has traditionally been one of the rallying points of the far right.

The convention, which opens in Paris on Tuesday, will debate “26 propositions” that aim to put an end to the debate, but which will “in no way” contravene the 1905 French law that separates church and state.

For its part, the Radical Party, a centrist party that is closely associated with the UMP, has also distanced itself from the convention. According to Radical Party chief Jean-Louis Borloo, the 1905 law is well adapted to enable the practice of all religions and religious customs within the secular French republic without breaking any of its laws.

So far, 14 French ministers have said that they will be attending the convention.

The anti-racism group SOS Racism, for its part, has said that it will be making a formal complaint against Interior Minister Claude Gueant, who added fuel to the debate recently when he said that the rise in the number of Muslims living in France since the 1905 law came into effect was “creating a problem”.

One of the UMP propositions aims to create greater transparency for overseas financial transactions that channel funds used to build places of worship in France.

April 11 deadline

The controversial ban on wearing a full face veil in public places comes into force on April

A guide to the four main types of Muslim veil

11 in France.

Last week, Gueant signed a circular, sent to all law enforcement agencies, “for instructions on carrying out identity checks and for the issuing of fines”.

According to the document, which was published by right-leaning daily newspaper Le Figaro, police officers do not have the right to forcibly remove a veil.

“Either the person wearing the veil removes it, or else that person is conducted to a police station so that their identity can be verified,” the circular instructs.

In no instance can a woman wearing a niqab be placed under arrest simply for wearing the full veil. But she can be held at a police station for up to four hours, held liable for a 150 euro fine and required to take a citizenship course.
 

 

Date created : 2011-04-05

  • FRANCE

    France readies for ban on full Islamic veil

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    Old differences threaten ruling UMP party power

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    Retired French woman on trial for ripping veil off a Muslim woman

    Read more

COMMENT(S)