What is radical secularism that was born in France in response to Islamist terrorism

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Not only does France have to fight the coronavirus pandemic, but in the last month, the French country has faced a resurgence of Islamist terrorism. The beheading of a teacher in Paris and the death of three people in a church in Nice have therefore alerted the nation and sparked a current: radical secularism.

How to collect the BBC, secularism is included in the French constitution: it separates the State from religious organizations and guarantees freedom of worship. The Constitution says that France is a republic indivisible, secular, democratic and social.

Following the recent attacks, a survey reveals that the 87% of the French believe that the secularism enshrined in his Magna Carta “is in danger”, and the 78% considers it justifiable for teachers to show cartoons mocking religion to illustrate freedom of expression.

Precisely for this reason, what is called radical secularism. According to the BBC Guylain Chevrier, historian and integration specialist, “in France there are several tendencies of radical secularism. On the one hand you have one that supports the total prohibition of any manifestation and signs of religious belonging. But on the other hand, there a will to create a kind of state atheism. None of this corresponds to the initial conception of the concept of secularism: the state, separating itself from the churches, does not exclude them from society “.

Sylvie Pierre, professor of communication at the University of Lorraine, and an expert in secularism, believes that “today we speak of secular radicalism due to the problems related to Islam and in France there are currently groups that promote anti-Islam speeches, presenting themselves as lay movements “.

It is the example of Riposte laïque (Lay Response), a movement born on the internet in 2007 that brings together “patriots of the left and right that they do not accept the Islamization of their country. ”

According to Pierre, these movements base their rhetoric “on deciding that we are being invaded by Islam and immigrants. Most of them are extreme right-wing people who seek to arouse fear in the population and resort to dramatization, to theories such as the one with the great replacement and racist ideologies that call for the expulsion of certain peoples. “

Chevrier believes that secular radicalism helps radical Islamism to engage in similar behaviors and organize in the same way.



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