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Legislation Impacting Anti-Discrimination and Anti-Radicalisation Efforts

Legislation Impacting Anti-Discrimination and Anti-Radicalisation Efforts The Criminal Code of the French Republic.

France is the homeland of human rights, a country where the most popular anti-discrimination and anti-racial laws were born and implemented. At the same time, France is among the few countries in the world, which do not admit having ethnical minorities, hence, do not acknowledge their special rights, which would differ from “classic” human rights.

Ethnic identity, as well as ethnical self-identification of native French minorities is excluded from the political lexicon. Moreover, the existence of minorities is not acknowledged.

Because of this The Republic of France has not yet joined the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, although its argumentation in this case is more anti-racist than not. The French have found it unnecessary and even consider it is breaching the principles of equality, unity and freedom. French politicians like to repeat that all French citizens are French regardless of skin colour, religious beliefs and origin.

In France, government funding of religious Muslim schools is practically non-existent, which practically brings religious Muslim education, which still exists in one form or another, away from the government’s control. Therefore, the majority of religious organizations of immigrants, many of whom are Muslim and do not have historical ties to the community, do not possess rights to government funding.

In May 2001, the Abou-Picard Act (based on the names of initiators) has been passed in order to combat religious “sects”. Its goal is to dissolve religious groups, which have been constantly accused of acts of crime. This law had a very critical reception. Catholic and Reformist churches of the country have stood up against it.

They noted that the law can be used against some cult practices of traditional religions.

French legislation does not consider crimes that were committed on the basis of prejudice against the disabled and migrants to be hate crimes.

Article 78-2 of the Criminal Procedural Code concerning document checks provides law enforcement with extensive authority to stop any person for identity checks without any reasonable grounds for suspicion. Paragraph 3 of the article allows for identity checks in order to “prevent disruption of public order or crime against individuals or property” . Essentially, this law provides ground for abuse and racial profiling.

Discrimination of nomads is also a common problem. They are required to receive special permission to nomadism, which must be renewed every year (before 2012, it was every three months). Failure to comply with this requirement results in a fine of 1500 euros. At the same time, their proportion in a municipality must not exceed 3% . Nomads are deprived of electoral rights if they are not tied to a particular municipality. If they relocate, nomads get the right to vote after three years of living in one place.

On April 15, 2021, France's lower house of parliament passed its final reading of the law "Global security which preserves freedoms". According to the government, the law is intended to protect police officers from online calls for violence. Article 24 of this law makes it an offense to show the face or identity of any officer on duty "with the aim of damaging his physical or psychological integrity. This offense is punishable by up to one year in prison and a maximum fine of 45,000 euros. The bill has been heavily criticized by journalists and human rights groups, who argue that it would restrict press freedom and lead to a reduction in police accountability. Those who oppose the law worry that, if passed, it could endanger journalists and private citizens who film police officers at work, especially during violent protests.

On July 23, 2021, the French parliament passed the law "On Combating Separatism and Respecting the Principles of the Republic." Together with the bill "On the Prevention of Terrorist Acts" passed the day before, the new measures should allow the government to better deal with the threats of Islamism. The bill, however, was heavily criticized by human rights activists and the parliamentary opposition, both leftist and rightist. The main reason for the adoption of this bill was the fear of President Macron that part of France's Muslim population, numbering between 4 and 5 million people, could fall under the influence of the Salafist movement, whose purpose, according to the state, is to create a kind of separate counter-community whose members would be encouraged to live in self-imposed seclusion from the vile influence of French secularism ( laïcité ). The proposed bill sought to ensure that public life in France reflected the values of laïcité, or state secularism, a centuries-old (1905) constitutional principle that separated church and state but was not successful in Islam, since the law was passed at a time when there were no mosques in mainland France and 99% of Muslims lived in the French colonies.

The goals of the new law are: 1) to free the Muslims of France from the influence of Morocco, Turkey, Algeria and Tunisia, who still have a say in the selection and appointment of imams, many of whom do not speak French and are not trained to solve the problems that the second faces or the third generation of Muslims born in France and holding French citizenship; 2) introduce stricter controls on the financing of mosques, so that contributions in excess of 10,000 euros are carefully checked for their origin; 3) take control of all private schools, regardless of whether they are associated with a particular denomination or not, so that the basic values ​​​​of secularism are taught there in their curricula; 4) ban home schooling, which appears to be the kind of education that is being taught to about 50,000 children over the age of three; 5) stop the program allowing countries to send imams and teachers to France; 6) give the administration the authority to stop funding associations by local authorities when these associations or NGOs promote values ​​that are contrary to secularism.

Considering that no other religion in France is subject to such restrictions, and also that the ban on homeschooling means the forced transfer of children of immigrants from Arab countries to the country's secular general education system, which is unacceptable for religious families, all these innovations should obviously be considered as discriminatory towards the Muslim religious minority.

Given that no other religion in France is subject to such restrictions, and given that the ban on home schooling means forcibly transferring Arab children into the country's secular public school system, which is unacceptable to religious families, all of these innovations must obviously be seen as discriminatory against the Muslim religious minority.

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