France, and what it represents, appears in many respects to be a priority target for political Islam in general, and for its extremist avatars in particular. This not a coincidence, since France embodies a singular conception of freedom of expression inherent to laïcité, which it has historically elevated to the rank of a cardinal republican value. “France is an indivisible, laïque, democratic and social Republic. It ensures the equality before the law of all citizens without distinction of origin, race or religion. It respects all beliefs.” It is precisely this respect for all religious beliefs that has been called into question and manipulated for largely political purposes by neo-Ottoman Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan amid the controversy generated by the republication, on September 2, 2020, of the cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed by the Charlie Hebdo weekly newspaper.
- France, just like the rest of Europe, has changed so much since 1905 that socio-political pressures to review the relation between State and religions has become a must. The bill recently put forward by its government aims at a global reform that would, if passed, directly impact freedom of worship, claims Philippe Portier.
- The French political scientist and author of Le grand écart reflects on his experience as guarantor of the Great National Debate launched by the Elysée to respond to the Yellow Vests, and on the challenges to save Western democracies.