The French government has again criticized the firing of a mosque imam. A tweet from the French home minister confirmed that two imams had been fired.
Meanwhile, a Turkish-based daily reported that two imams had been fired for reciting a sermon from the Quran during the Eid al-Adha prayers.
The French Home Minister also said that the statements of the two imams violated French law. And the French government will always be vocal against those who want to spread discontent in France by violating French law.
The removal of the two imams has been the subject of renewed criticism of French secularism and the Freedom of Expression law.
The modern era began with the separation of religion from the state. Later, France set an example of unprecedented secularism in the whole world.
In 1905, the French government passed a law on secularism to reduce the interference of the Catholic Church from the state apparatus, which is still a rare example of secularism in the world today.
The secularism of France is somewhat different from that of the United States, India, or any other country.
Secularism in France has two major dimensions. One is that the government will not serve any religion. The other is that France wants to exclude religion from people’s lives. For this reason, the country has banned the wearing of all religious clothing in public places.
French secularism and freedom of expression
The concept of French secularism is different from other countries, as is the freedom of expression of the country. There is no anti-blasphemy law in this country, which means that it is not a crime to mock any religious figure.
But the biggest victim of blasphemy in October last year was a teacher named Samuel Paty, who meant freedom of expression by presenting a cartoon image of the Muslim Prophet Muhammad.
However, the French government awarded the teacher the highest civilian award in the case. Last year, Emmanuel Macron himself was criticized for saying “Islam is in crisis”.
The country’s negative stance on religion is further illustrated by a 2004 law that publicly bans Muslim women from wearing the niqab. It also bans Sikhs from wearing turbans in their national ID pictures.
French secularism and global criticism
France’s hard secularism has in many cases brought the country to the brink of global criticism. Many countries have also said that France is hating Islam for the sake of secularism.
Turkey has already criticized France for mocking Islam or banning the hijab. On the other hand, countries like Malaysia and Pakistan do not like Islamophobia in France.
But there are many countries in the global arena that have supported the secularism of France, including the friendly cities of France, India, and the United States.
French secularism and internal discontent
The country’s internal discontent is growing as a result of French secularism, one example of which is the terrorist attack in Paris in 2015.
At present, the Muslim population in France is growing. As a result, strict secularism is pushing all these people in a negative direction.
On the other hand, earlier this year, the French army told the civil war was about to break out in France. The main reason was the flexible attitude of the French government towards the immigrants.
Read more: Francis going to face civil war
Secularism of France and terrorism
France has at various times banned religious activities in order to maintain its secularism, in response to which religious extremism has risen in various parts of the country.
The Islamic State, Taliban, and Al Qaeda are now active in a number of regions. Most of the former French colonies in Africa are now victims of religious extremism.
Which way is the future of French secularism going?
France has already been criticized in the global arena for banning religious activities. Some are also saying that it is against globalization and increase the chances of Clash of Civilization.
Now the people Francophone are going to France as immigrants who are mostly Muslims. If they stay in France, it is normal for them to have some cultural exchange among themselves. So many people think that France needs to be a little flexible in its secularism law.
But another big challenge for the French government is the French citizens themselves. Many of whom are prone to atheism and do not like to practice religion in public places. So if France is flexible about religion, the French people may oppose it.
The expulsion of the two imams has already sparked a campaign against France on social media. So it is easy to say that France will once again face global outrage. If this continues, it remains to be seen where French secularism will turn in the changed circumstances.