Printer Friendly

World leaders call on French president to re-examine religious garb issue.

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- In a letter drafted and coordinated by the Institute on Religion and Public Policy, hundreds of religious leaders, academics, business leaders and other concerned experts have called on President Jacques Chirac of France to reconsider the ban on religious garb in public schools and other public areas.

"We are encouraged to send our concerns to you, Mr. President, out of respect for the unique heritage and traditions of freedom and openness that constituted the pride of France, a country that through history has welcomed diversity and proclaimed tolerance and full respect of the values of human rights," the letter stated. "We agree that fanaticism and obscurantism threaten the delicate fabric of the contemporary world. But in order to counter it, we need not institute more authoritarian and restrictive dispositions of the law. On the contrary, we should rather embrace more broadmindedness and acceptance, more democracy and freedom."

The letter continued: "A policy of secularism should not be promoted in any way as a cover for unintentional intolerance and atheism as a state policy. To avoid such a twist is as necessary as much as it is to prevent the misuse of the concept of freedom that preoccupies you in the address. It is indeed a fine and fragile balance that needs to be maintained. A noble endeavor that would truly make your nation the proud trustee of its rich history of acceptance and noble ideals.

"Mr. President, there is no valid justification for such a law, especially in the circumstances that prompted the present debate over religious extremism and its tragic consequences throughout the world."

Institute on Religion and Public Policy
COPYRIGHT 2004 Presbyterian Record
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2004 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:world news
Publication:Presbyterian Record
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:4EUFR
Date:Mar 1, 2004
Words:274
Previous Article:'Shameful' silence over crimes in Zimbabwe earns politicians a rebuke.
Next Article:Bishop Tutu ordains daughter in Virginia.
Topics:


Related Articles
Canadian bishops and Iraq.
Calif. school district accused of improperly teaching about Islam. (People & Events).
Defending the cross.
One nation indivisible? 'Under God' case at Supreme Court tests nation's commitment to church-state separation, religious pluralism.
French assembly bans student religious garb.
France's new dress code: a ban on religious symbols in schools shows how differently France and the U.S. think about religion and pluralism.
When a win may not mean much.
Focus on politics: religious right leader James Dobson declares war over marriage, as election-year battle widens.
Religious jurors can't be barred, says N.J. Court.
Faith-based favoritism: U.S. House supports rollback of religious discrimination ban in job-training bill after Bush push.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2020 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters