The new law, reported by the Telegraph, is apparently being introduced because thousands of Muslims are praying in the streets, blocking traffic. A devout Muslim is required to pray five times a day. In the US where there is the founding principal of religious freedom such laws restricting religious practice is generally denounced (although remember the outcry about a mosque in NYC “near” Ground Zero?) but France, whose history included being effectively ruled by the Catholic church, maintaining a secular stance has been vigorously pursued by the government.
What do you think about such laws? How would you handle the challenges posed by the changes brought with a massive influx of immigrants with their own traditions, religious and otherwise?
Praying in the streets of Paris is against the law starting Friday, after the interior minister warned that police will use force if Muslims, and those of any other faith, disobey the new rule to keep the French capital’s public spaces secular.
By Henry Samuel, Paris
5:56PM BST 15 Sep 2011
Claude Guéant said that ban could later be extended to the rest ofFrance, in particular to the Mediterranean cities of Nice and Marseilles, where “the problem persists”.
He promised the new legislation would be followed to the letter as it “hurts the sensitivities of many of our fellow citizens”.
“My vigilance will be unflinching for the law to be applied. Praying in the street is not dignified for religious practice and violates the principles of secularism, the minister told Le Figaro newspaper.
“All Muslim leaders are in agreement,” he insisted.