Source: World Religion News
Emmanuel Jean-Michel Frederic Macron has been elected France’s President. At 39-years-old, he is one of the youngest to assume the position of the French head of state after Napoleon. He once worked as a banker and has promised to unite people from various backgrounds. One of his main promises during his election days was that he would spearhead a “democratic revolution” by opposing the French “vacuous” political system. “No Religion Is a Problem in France” Says French President Emmanuel Macron
Emmanuel Macron said “No religion is a problem in France.” The ex-economy minister famously quoted that taking a neutral position is the “heart of secularism”. He admitted that France has made mistakes when it came to its security policy. He also said the French government has targeted Muslims in an unfair manner. During his En Marche movement, he asserted that neutrality forms secularism’s heart and every French citizen must have the ability to practice their religion in a dignified manner.
Macron said there is no one and only French identity. He said that the French past is a mythical one. It is also not an idea where a person thinks in abstract terms, thus criticizing Francois Hollande, the former French President. The latter said in April that being French can be construed as an idea and not matter of identity. According to Macron being French is a matter of “will”. Macron’s image is of that a centrist politician. Born to well-off parents in Amiens, his father was a physician and his mother an academic at the University of Picardy. The family was not a religious one. Only at Macron’s own insistence, he was baptized as Roman Catholic at age 12. He supports the principle of secularism. He opposed the ban imposed on Muslim headscarves inside the university grounds. According to him, there should be no inventing new laws or new standards so that veils can be hunted down inside universities and going after people wearing religious symbols during field trips. In his many media interviews, Macron was insistent that secularism was not created to promote Republicanism. He was also blunt towards French Muslims. He asked them to respect rules in public. Religious relationships concern transcendence. As a Catholic, he believes that religious laws go much beyond the French Republic. However, inside France, French laws must take precedence over religious rules.
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