The French government has come out four square against the rights of French Muslims to decide for themselves how they want to express their religious beliefs on the grounds that France is a secular society. That secularism should apply to all religious expression, so goes the French rationale and one wonders why at the first hint of France’s Islamophobic response that anyone wouldn’t think that tendency to ban any and all religious expression would be the natural outgrowth?! For those who silently cheered on the sidelines as Muslims were targeted the full weight and oppression of the state is headed to a religious community near you, just don’t blame the Muslims.
The backlash against Muslims in France demanding religious rights in the public sphere has also hit Jews, who feel that their own, similar requests are being treated increasingly negatively.
“Things have got worse since more and more Muslims started pushing demands, sometimes with political motives. Now we’re compared to assertive pushy militants and our own requests are denied outright,” said Marc Djebali, vice president of the Jewish community of Sarcelles, a suburb north of Paris. “Now officials tell me: ‘we can’t accept this, this is a secular state’.”
In America we call that, ‘chickens coming home to roost’. Of course Jewish concerns for their religious expression should be honored just as Muslim expression or any other religious group that lives in what’s supposedly a free society as France claims to be; otherwise no faith can or should supersede any other faith, and that means Jewish women will either have to wear state approved swim wear or not swim at all, and Jewish men will have to doff their yarmulkes just as Muslim women do their hijab. Instead of blaming a politically inclined Muslim movement, perhaps French Jews should blame their tacit support for French racism against Muslims which is now slowly headed their way as well. Have French Jews forgotten how racism fueled a world war in the heart of Europe only a few short years ago? Do they think the same ingredients of racism, lies, distortions xenophobia today won’t produce the same results, or do they think they are now immune from the dangers of anti-semitism? Que sera, sera.