The Great Fear
Dalil Boubakeur's proposal to suspend the 1905 law separating Church and State has incensed the advocates of "laïcité" who see in his words a predictable maneuver, welcomed by the State and Churches alike, for the purpose of restoring the power of religion to all spheres of French life.
The following excerpts are taken from a long text posted at Riposte Laïque, a website of militants of "laïcité". Essentially, a coalition of left-leaning groups and individuals, they have the virtue of wanting to preserve intact the 1905 law separating Church and State. It isn't clear if they understand the true nature of Islam and its refusal of such a separation. What is clear is their intense hostility towards religion, and their firm belief that Nicolas Sarkozy intends, through modifications to the existing law, to impose his view of the equality of all religions onto the French people, instead of maintaining the strict separation that has been enforced until recently when Islam came into the picture.
(...) Why should Boubakeur have any qualms (about suspending the law)? Sarkozy, through his speeches in Rome and then in Ryadh rolled out the red carpet to the Churches, and someone had to go into the breach. This role fell to the freedom-destroying mufti of the Paris mosque, since Islam is the spear-head of this offensive.
(...) The ministers visit him (Boubakeur) during Ramadan, an obscurantist practice if ever there was one, to break the fast. They invite him to the television studios where, all the while claiming to favor "laïcité", he whimpers about discrimination towards Muslims. Sarkozy takes him along in his baggage when he goes to Algiers. There, Boubakeur listens enthralled to the French president who, in an incredible speech, denounces Islamophobia and anti-Semitism in the same breath.
As thanks for these good and loyal favors, Boubakeur plays the game expected of him by the powers-that-be and the Churches: he demands the end of the law of 1905.
Note: They come close to saying that it is a conspiracy by the government and the religions - i.e. a pre-planned plot to pave the way for the abolition of the law.
Their fear, despite what they say about Islam, is of the return of Christianity, especially Catholicism, to the decision-making process of the government, as the following statements attest:
In Europe through Article 15-1 of the new Treaty of Lisbon, which replaces the former Article 1-52, they want to render unavoidable the consultation of the Catholic Church before any political policy is adopted.
Furthermore, in Europe, 20 countries out of 25 are signatories of concordats with the Catholic Church. Now they want all of France to be aligned with those countries.
Note: I cannot comment on the above. I have not read the Treaty, nor am I familiar with the concordats.
But Catholicism is not their only fear:
(...) The Turkish Islamists who still intend to enter Europe feel that the moment has come. They are trying to end the ban on the Islamic veil, instituted by Mustapha Kemal, at the University.
The Protestants, among whom the Evangelicals are today in the majority, are patiently waiting for the French State to "tinker" with the law of 1905 that forbids the construction of houses of worship, in order to benefit from these derogations.
Movements such as the Church of Scientology, Jehovah's Witnesses, Raelians, and others are eager for these revisions so that they may be recognized fully as religions, and take advantage of the subsidies, fiscal exemptions and other privileges which are today forbidden by Article 2 of this accursed law.
In short, the stage is set, the scenario is soon to be played out.
Note: I know nothing about Raelians. I doubt that they pose a threat comparable to Islam.
The article goes on to call for a massive protest, first at the local level, then a march towards Paris. Among the organizations cited as participants in this protest are the Grand Orient of France (Freemasons) and the Ligue de l'Enseignement (League of Teachers):
Today is not the time to be timorous with those who prepared the way for Sarkozy and the concept of "open laïcité." Nor must we be divided in our ranks, whatever divergences may exist,
(...) We are convinced that the potential for mobilization by the French people around the concept of "laïcité" is intact. The citizens of this country are much more attached to the separation of the religious from the political than the elite is willing to believe.
Note: Sarkozy has (knowingly?) opened a can of worms with his initiatives on religion. But the essential problem remains Islam. The advocates of "laïcité" seem to forget that there can be no separation of Church and State in Islam and that if Islam is going to be given privileges, it automatically means the end of the law of 1905. Sarkozy, the Great Egalitarian, is banking on the fallacious notion of "equality" of religions and is throwing all religions together in the same arena to find a way of co-existing. His specific plans to modify the 1905 law will be the topic of future posts.
The image is of Liberty Leading the People, a famous painting from 1830 by Eugène Delacroix.