As a dual citizen of France and Canada, I never cease to be amazed by the depth of misunderstanding there is about French attitudes to religion. France’s shortcomings in its management of diversity are obvious – as are everyone else’s – but it is important to recognise some basic facts before pronouncing on them.
The first is that the principle of laïcité in France – the country’s particular brand of secularism – is more than posturing: it is a lived, sociological fact.
The extent of secularism in France, especially over the last half century, is well documented. Jérôme Fourquet, in The French Archipelago, provides 350 pages of evidence on the transformation of France – or, as he puts it, the disappearance of the religious in France.… Seguir leyendo »