DNA Special: What does France’s anti-radicalism Bill say? 10 pointers

France’s National Assembly approved legislation designed mainly to counter a rise in Islamism in towns and cities which the government says threatens national unity. The legislation did not single out any particular religion, but it cracked down on practices such as forced marriage and virginity tests.

It included tough measures against online apologists for acts of violence, stricter surveillance of religious associations, and tighter restrictions on educating children outside mainstream schools.

The law named Reinforcing Republican Principles has been passed in the lower house of France and is also being called anti-Separatism Law. Nowhere in this law has the word ‘Islam’ been used, but it has said that religious fundamentalists, which means Islamic fundamentalism because France is troubled by Islamic fundamentalist forces these days.

The purpose of this law is to stop religious fundamentalism, remove people from the path of separatism and take them on the path of development. Creating a more secure and more secular environment. That means France is ready to hit the fundamentalist forces to achieve these objectives.

You can also call it the first law in the rapidly changing world that will make secularism truly practical and prevent religious bigotry from growing. And most importantly, this law also teaches India and that if no such law is brought to India soon facing religious bigotry and terrorism, the consequences may be serious.

That means, India can learn a lot from the law brought to France and we will tell you today about what these things are.

Let’s know 10 important points about this French law:

1) As per this law, a person can be fined as much as Rs 13 lakh if he insists that the medical examination of his wife or child will not be done by a male doctor or if a man forces a girl for marriage or marries more than one. According to Sharia law, any Muslim can marry four people but that can’t happen in France anymore.

2) This law has added a provision in the name of Samuel Paty, due to which it is also being called Samuel Paty Law. Under this, if a person shares personal information related to a government employee or officer on social media, he will be fined about Rs 40 lakh and can be imprisoned for up to three years.

Samuel Paty was a French teacher who was murdered in October 2020. He had displayed a controversial cartoon of Prophet Mohammed to some students of his school discussing the right of expression, after which a student of the school gave this information to his family. This led to Paty’s murder by an 18-year-old boy. The killer came to France at the age of 6 from Chechnya, a province in Russia, as a refugee and was named Abdullah Anzorov.

3) All citizens have to respect France’s secularism. 

4) If a person scares any French government official or public representative and forces him to go against the secular values ​​of France, he will be imprisoned for five years and imposed a fine of about Rs 65 lakh.

5) If a person wants to home-school his children, he has to take permission from the French government and also give a concrete reason for this. 

6) Government representatives will ensure that there is no gender discrimination in sports. For example, earlier there was a separate swimming pool for girls and boys but the French government will no longer allow it.

7) As per the new law, all religious institutions in France will have to inform the government about the donations received from abroad. If the funding is more than Rs 8 lakh, they will have to inform the government about this and if they do not do so, the French government will stop giving financial assistance to such religious institutions from the country.

8) Different groups and institutions that receive special support from the government will have to sign an agreement, under which they have to respect the constitutional and secular values ​​of France. 

9) In religious institutions, such speeches will not be made which cause conflict and disharmony between communities.

10) Those accused of being involved in terrorist activities in France will be banned for 10 years from participating in religious institutions. There is one more thing related to this law that there will now be a ban on the display of religious symbols in France. Until now, Muslim women could not wear burqas and hijabs to French government offices but now under this law, private companies will also come under its purview.

Why France brought this law?

Firstly, there is an increase in the number of refugees from other countries in France and secondly, a rise in the incidence of radical Islamic terrorism in the country.

France never reviewed its open borders tradition, which led to a large number of refugees settling in France from other countries. In 2012, when the civil war in Syria was at its peak, the number of Muslims seeking asylum in France reached one lakh each year.

The number of Muslims seeking asylum in Europe increased significantly during the period 2015-16 when ISIS captured several areas of Iraq, Syria and Libya. In 2017, a record one and a half million people took refuge in France and by 2019, this number had become two lakh. 

Not only France, but many European countries welcomed refugees openly in the race to prove secularism. But later these same people started challenging the constitutional and secular values ​​of France and other European countries.

The second reason is the increasing incidence of radical Islamic terrorism in France and at the root of these incidents are the same Muslim refugees. There have been 10 major terrorist attacks in France in the past five years and more than 250 people have been killed in such attacks.

On January 7, 2015, there was a terrorist attack on Charlie Hebdo’s office in Paris. In this attack, 12 people were killed. Charlie Hebdo is a weekly magazine in France and its office was attacked for printing a controversial cartoon of Prophet Mohammed. 

On November 13, 2015, there were many planned terrorist attacks in France in which 130 people were killed. 

On July 14, 2016, a terrorist rammed his truck on a crowded street in Nice, killing 84 people.

On October 3, 2019, a policeman shot and killed three police officers and a civilian. 

On October 16, 2020, a teacher named Samuel Paty was killed by a separatist. 

DNA Special: What does France’s anti-radicalism Bill say? 10 pointers

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