PARIS (AP) — French lawmakers debated a bill on Monday they hope will uproot radical Islam in the country, beliefs that authorities maintain are creeping into public services, associations, some schools and online with the goal of undermining national values.
The bill is broad and controversial, with around 1,700 proposed amendments, and it guarantees heated debate for the next two weeks in the lower house.
Opening the debate, Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin, the bill’s sponsor, said the aim is to stop “an Islamist hostile takeover targeting Muslims.” He stressed that “we are not fighting against a religion,” although some Muslims in France have voiced concern that it adds a new layer of stigmatization for them. Other religions, from Buddhists to Roman Catholics, have complained they also could suffer fallout from the text.
The bill reflects a priority for President Emmanuel Macron, who in an October speech painted a dark picture of what he dubbed “separatism,” a perverse version of Islam, France’s No. 2 religion, quietly making inroads and creating a “counter society.” more here