The French government on Wednesday unveiled a draft law to arm the country against 'Islamist Radicalism/Extremism'. President Emmanuel Macron promoted the draft legislation to eradicate what he calls 'separatists' sabotaging the nation. The Bill will go to the National Assembly in January.
The Bill comes on account of various attacks that took place in the country. However, the Bill is being seen as a response to the recent October attack, where a school teacher, Samuel Paty, was beheaded in a suburb of Paris.
What Does The Bill Include
The proposed legislation envisions to bring various measures, including reforms in school education to ensure Muslim children do not drop out. Homeschooling will be banned, except for medical reasons.
Under the law, if passed, the government will have greater control over mosques and preachers in the country. The local authorities will be given the power to temporarily shut down places of worship under public subsidies if they are found going against the rules of the French republic. Nearly 2,600 mosques in the country will be affected reportedly.
People who are not convicts, but are under surveillance due to suspected radicalisation might be sent to detention centres.
The draft law will also tackle online hate speech. There could be increased surveillance of the activities of all the French mosques, including the financial dealings. The government has already increased surveillance of about 50 Muslim associations and 75 mosques.
A judge can ban anyone from attending mosques if convicted of violence, discrimination, terrorism or hate speech.
Foreign funding of the mosque will have to be declared if it exceeds $12,000.
The Bill would make it a crime punishable by fines and up to one year in prison for doctors who provide 'Virginity certificates', which is reportedly sometimes demanded ahead of Muslim marriage ceremonies, The Indian Express reported.
Critical View Of The Bill
The proposed legislation has received flak, especially from the Muslim community. Critics have called it 'anti-seperatism law'.
People opposing the draft law say it could stigmatise a particular religion and a community, given France's Muslim community is the largest in Europe, with more than five million people.
Critics say that this could alienate the French Muslims from the rest of the community. Turkish President Recep Erdogan has criticised the Bill, and called it an "open provocation".
The French government has called the draft legislation a "law of freedom".
Speaking to the reporters after the cabinet approved the test, Prime Minister Jean Castex said it is not a text against any particular religion or a community, but against radical Islamism, whose objective, he said, is 'to divide French people from one another', Aljazeera reported.
Macron had earlier talked about the government taking action against the attacks that took place in France in recent years. "There is a desire, openly stated, a methodological organisation which aims to break the rules of the French republic and create a parallel order, with other values nurturing a different organisation for society," he said in a press conference.