French Muslims and the Secular State
by Denis MacEoin, Feb. 23, 2019
- “If your synagogue or Jewish cemetery needs someone to stand guard, count me in. Islam requires it.” — Tayyib Rashib, former US Marine, in a tweet.
- In late April 2018, thirty imams signed an open letter in the French newspaper Le Monde, in which they bitterly attacked the “confiscation of our religion by criminals” and said “ignorant, disturbed and idle” young people had become easy prey for dangerous ideologues.
- Secularism is not an opinion among others, but rather the freedom to have an opinion. It is not a belief, but rather the principle authorizing all beliefs, providing they respect the principles of freedom of conscience and equal rights. For this reason, it is neither pro- nor anti-religious.
Islam has a history largely forgotten today: Schools seem largely to ignore or suppress topics related to Western-Islamic, Indian or Middle Eastern rivalries or contacts. To many modern Westerners, Islam seems to have popped up out of nowhere, from across the Mediterranean.