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France passes anti-radicalism bill

by Rachel Lynn Aldrich
Posted 2/16/21, 05:41 pm

The National Assembly on Tuesday voted 347-151 to pass a measure that would increase oversight of mosques, schools, and sports clubs in a bid to promote respect for French values. France’s Senate on March 30 will take up the anti-radicalism bill, which will likely pass. The push for the law intensified after an extremist beheaded a teacher for showing a caricature of Muhammad in October, the same month a knife attack at a basilica in Nice killed three people.

What’s in the bill? Many say the measure takes aim at Islamic extremism, though it doesn’t mention the religion by name. It would ban virginity certificates, crack down on polygamy and forced marriage, and require regular school attendance starting at age 3. Public employees, including teachers, would receive training in secularism and stronger legal protection against threats. It adjusts France’s 1905 law guaranteeing the separation of church and state to regulate ties between religious associations and foreign interests. Associations will sign a contract of respect for French values, and state funding would depend on following it.

Dig deeper: Read Jenny Lind Schmitt’s report on France’s debate over free speech following extremist attacks.

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Rachel Lynn Aldrich

Rachel is an assistant editor for WORLD Digital. She is a Patrick Henry College and World Journalism Institute graduate. Rachel resides with her husband in Wheaton, Ill.

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