Fear and Freedom: The Struggle For a Secular France

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2018-05

Authors

Rand, Kathryn Olivia

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Abstract

In the name of laïcite, France's version of secularism, a myriad of laws banning conspicuous religious symbols have been implemented over the last few decades, generating controversial debates over the legality, necessity, and morality of such legislative action. Most notably during the twenty-first century, these laws have particularly targeted Islamic communities by prohibiting headscarves in schools and the wearing of the full veil in public spaces, which has ultimately led to the stigmatization and alienation of French Muslim citizens. Though laïcité was born out of a desire to create a more unified state, the recent headscarf debates have illuminated the paradoxical reality that modern standards of French secularism have produced a fractured nation.

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