The way in which the President of the Republic, when he needs to, recalls the importance of the role of religions for “living together” in French society is not lacking in salt. It is enough to remember how the positions of religions on other subjects, societal (euthanasia, PMA, etc.) or social (migrants) are swept aside by this same president.
In any case, Monday November 13, after the demonstration against anti-Semitism, Emmanuel Macron brought together all the leaders of the major faiths in France. He asked them to “defend universalism and republican values” and of “multiply educational actions in this direction”. Behind this somewhat solemn injunction, the fear of seeing the conflict in the Middle East being imported into our country by religious communities who echo the fighting there. This risk of exploitation should not be underestimated, knowing that our country is home to the two largest Muslim and Jewish communities in Europe, respectively. Even if, under a regime of secularism, it is difficult to see how the executive could impose specific actions on religions.
From this point of view, the absence of Muslim leaders at Sunday’s demonstration is regrettable. To explain their non-participation, they took refuge behind the slogan of the rally, according to them insufficiently explicit, or even the presence of the extreme right. The reality is different: they in fact feared the reaction of their co-religionists, disappointed that we were not also talking about Islamophobia and confusing the fight against anti-Semitism and support for the policies of the State of Israel. This caution is understandable, but disappointing. Education in universalism, requested by the President of the Republic, undoubtedly begins with courage.