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Paleontologist Kenneth Lacovara: ‘Dinosaurs were the last great champions’

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Alan Turing's nephew: ‘A Shakespearean tragedy surrounded his life’

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Zimbabwe: Chamisa's lawyers contest election results in court

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New US sanctions on Iran: Trump ups pressure after exiting nuclear deal

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‘Space Farce’? Alternative logos for new US military branch flood social media

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EYE ON AFRICA

Zambia accused of illegal handover of Zimbabwean opposition figure

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#MyCameraIsMyWeapon campaign takes on Iran's mandatory hijab law

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Headed for war? Israel-Gaza conflict flares despite truce talks

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FRENCH CONNECTIONS

A quirky, insider’s guide to understanding France and the French, from the sublime to the ridiculous. Thursday at 1.45 pm.

Latest update : 2016-01-21

Understanding 'laicité': The ins and outs of state secularism

FRENCH CONNECTIONS – Thurs. 21.01.16: This week we take a closer look at a concept that is fundamental to life in France: "laicité". Quite literally it’s translated as secularism, the separation of church and state, but France’s brand of secularism is quite particular and controversial.

A product of French philosophy and history, "laicité" was signed into law in 1905. The Law on the Separation of the Churches and State requires the government to remain neutral in terms of faith, while at the same time safeguarding everyone’s freedom to practice their own religion.

Concretely, religion is banned from state matters and public schools. But the application of secularism in practice is subject to some controversy. Critics say state secularism is too extreme and is increasingly used to stigmatize Muslims. Meanwhile, proponents say laicité allows us to live together in harmony and protects our freedom.

By Florence VILLEMINOT

Archives

2018-08-09 Florence VILLEMINOT

From baguettes to bistros: the battle to protect France’s cultural heritage

What do the baguette, Paris bistros and “bouquinistes”, open air booksellers along the river Seine, have in common? Other than starting with the letter ‘b’, groups are lobbying...

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2018-07-18 Florence VILLEMINOT

What the World Cup win means for France

France erupted with joy on July 15 when Les Bleus beat Croatia in the World Cup final. It's a big deal for any country to win the World Cup, but it felt particularly special in...

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2018-07-12 Florence VILLEMINOT

Tour de France: More than a cycling race, a celebration!

The Tour de France is the biggest free sporting spectacle in the world. First organized in 1903, the so-called "Grande Boucle" is held primarily during the month of July and...

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2018-07-05 Florence VILLEMINOT

Are the French really bad drivers?

French people have the reputation of being pretty reckless behind the wheel, but how true is that stereotype? Despite regular traffic violations, the number of deaths on French...

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2018-06-29 Florence VILLEMINOT

Parlez-vous français? The ins and outs of the French language

In this episode of French Connections Plus, we explore the ins and outs of the French language. Once the language of diplomacy, French is still influential around the world,...

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