France passes bill aimed at curbing Islamism – Yahoo News

France’s National Assembly passed a controversial bill on Tuesday aimed at curbing the rise of Islamism.

The so-called anti separatism bill strengthens the state’s oversight of mosques, schools and sports clubs.

It also includes tough new measures against online apologists for acts of violence and cracks down on practices like forced marriage and virginity testing.

The bill was brought forward by President Emmanuel Macron who said it will strengthen the country’s secular principles.

His party said the need for such a law was highlighted by the killing of a schoolteacher in Paris last October.

Samuel Paty was beheaded by a teenage Islamist after he showed cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad in a class on free speech.

Less than a fortnight later, a church warden and two worshippers were killed in a basilica in Nice by a Tunisian Islamist.

Guillaume Vuilletet is from the president’s ruling party.

“The fight against ‘separatism’ has long been an imperative of national interest. The tragedy (Islamist killing of teacher Samuel Paty) has made it an urgent moral necessity. And so what is in this bill? First, it guarantees our need for secularism after major advances in our public actions. Second, it protects victims of ‘separatism’, be it physically or online.”

Tuesday’s vote in the lower house was the first hurdle for a bill that’s proved controversial on the left and right.

Some on the left say it is an attack on France’s five million Muslims, while critics on the right say it is too weak.

Still – it sailed through with 347 votes in favor to 151 against.

The legislation now moves to the Senate, where the centre-right opposition dominates.

It’s passage is seen as key to Macron’s re-election hopes for 2022.

French identity and domestic security are expected to be central issues in the presidential vote.

Video Transcript

[SPEAKING FRENCH]

France’s National Assembly passed a controversial bill on Tuesday aimed at curbing the rise of Islamism.

The so-called anti separatism bill strengthens the state’s oversight of mosques, schools, and sports clubs. . It also includes tough new measures against online apologists for acts of violence and cracks down on practices like forced marriage and virginity testing.

The bill was brought forward by President Emmanuel Macron, who said it will strengthen the country’s secular principles.

His party that the need for such a law was highlighted by the killing of a school teacher in Paris last October.

Samuel Paty was beheaded by a teenage Islamist after he show cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad in a class on free speech.

[GUN SHOTS]

Less than a fortnight later, a church warden and two worshipers were killed in a basilica in Nice by a Tunisian Islamist.

Guillaume Vuilletet is from the president’s ruling party.

GUILLAUME VUILLETET: [SPEAKING FRENCH]

INTERPRETER: The fight against “separatism” has long been an imperative of national interest. The tragedy has made it an urgent moral necessity. And so what is in this bill? First, it guarantees our need for secularism after major advances in our public actions. Second, it protects victims of “separatism,” be it physically or online.

Tuesday’s vote in the lower house was the first hurdle for a bill that’s proved contentious on the left and right.

Some on the left say it is an attack on France’s five million Muslims, while critics on the right say it’s too weak.

Still, it sailed through with 347 votes in favor to 151 against.

The legislation now moves to the Senate, where the centre-right opposition dominates.

Its passage is seen as key to Macron’s re-election hopes for 2022.

French identity and domestic security are expected to be central issues in the presidential vote.

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France passes bill aimed at curbing Islamism – Yahoo News

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