Blog of American and European Practitioners and Academics on International Law, Theory and Politics, Comparative Constitutional Law, European Law and Politics, Law and Philosophy.
I found particularly interesting the argument of one of the people, saying that he supports the Constitution hoping that, in some sense, the question of the head-scarf in the French schools will be revisited. This position is really interesting and it touches upon the question I tried to address last Friday.
It is wrong if what is intended is "The European Muslim for the constitution". It's more "some european muslim..."; many muslim are also laïque and were in favour of the law forbiding head-scarfs. More importantly, it would be inacceptable to present the muslims as a community that would determine its vote on the basis of one element only without any interest for social, economical and political questions.
Being French and Muslim, I can comfirm:there is no muslim community and these people who are referred to in this article are representatives of new institutions that the government have created, because they needed partners, some two or three years ago, and who are not representative of muslims, because as a non-community, we didn't chose them and don't even care, for most of us, what these political and religious bodies might say, just like christian would not wait for a cardinal opinion to know what they'll vote.One good way of analysing is in social, rather than ethnical or religious. Unfortunately in France, a major part of practising muslims are also new or second generation immigrants which have problems finding highly qualified jobs, and are often part of the social poorest classes, largly against the EU constitution, accroding to polls, for economical reasons mainly. Finally, should I mention that I find excessive those who claim that the EU constitution can have an impact on secularism? Fundamental rights and principles of organisation of the member states are still in the realm of nation-states. The EU constitution adds news principles without changing those already existing in Member States. Another problem is to know whether the French conceptions of secularism as reflected in this law preventing visible religiuous signs in school is compatible with Freedom of religions as described in the ECHR among others. I personnaly have doubts, because I am convinced that this law results from another type of extremism, but here again, European institutions wouldn't dare saying anything about it, and will respect national opinions, even if only dominant in one or two EU countries (just like they've always respected Ireland or Poland rejection of abortion!) It can be seen as both positive and negative. Positive because whenever the issues can stay national, national institutions would keep control of the debate. Negative, because the absence of harmonisation, dispite the [superficial] existence of the charter of fundamental rights, will make it harder to ensure those fundamental rights which efficiency are affected by globalization.
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