Monday, October 25, 2004

To gallicize the Muslims

I am very busy today, so I can't pay a lot of attention to this subject. Over the weekend, the French paper Le Figaro gave a lot of attention to a book by French finance minister Nicolas Sarkozy. Describing himself as a practicing Catholic, Sarkozy reevaluates the 99-year old laws on secularism that have been used to justify banning religion from public life. While Sarkozy upholds the loi laïc as a protection for republicanism, he opines that France will need to make some exceptions to secularism in order to integrate Muslims into French society. Sarkozy carries a lot of weight in France--he is expected to become the next head of the conservative UMP--and his opinion will be taken seriously.

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