Thursday, 22 September 2011

Does new Paris "by-law" ban religious processions?

This report at "defend us in battle" indicates two implications of recent legislation which came into effect in Paris, whose intended aim was in respect of Muslim believers and Friday prayer. The BBC report here describes the background to this recent legal provision, and gives an account of co-operation between Muslim and civil authorities in making available more facilities that can be used by believers for their time of prayer. It should be noted, though, that the introduction of the legislation was prompted by far-right protests. But, if this BBC report is accurate, there does seem to be some prudent co-operation aimed at resolving the situation prompted by those protests.

The first unexpected implication is whether or not this Paris "by-law" legitimises hostility - and the word "hostility" is a diplomatic descriptor of what is described in this report, and in the links from it - on the part of secularist movements towards any public manifestation of religious belief in Paris.

The second implication is whether or not an unintended effect of the legislation will be to ban all public religious events in Paris, such as Marian and Eucharistic processions. These Catholic manifestations of faith were not at issue in the framing of the Paris legislation, but will they now become problematic?

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