Attention flammable matter: the deputies open Monday the debates in committee on the 51 articles of the bill against separatism, a strong marker of the Macron five-year term which, against a background of the fight against radical Islamism, touches on highly sensitive subjects.
In the shadow of a news crushed by the health crisis, the work of this ad hoc committee, led by the former president of theNational Assembly and former Minister François de Rugy, has so far taken place in a “Very serene climate” according to several deputies of the majority, with a very dense program of hearings. Calm before heavy weather?
More than 1,700 amendments have been tabled on this bill “Reinforcing respect for the principles of the Republic” in committee all week, as a prelude to debates in the hemicycle from 1 February.
Some amendments promise heated exchanges, including within the majority. MP Aurore Bergé set the tone by tabling an amendment to ban the veil for little girls, which had received the support of Marine Le Pen.
Badly received internally, the proposal of the member for Yvelines was however deemed inadmissible “Because without a direct legal relationship with the bill”, she said Sunday evening with her colleague Jean-Baptiste Moreau.
The beheading of Professor Samuel Paty then the attack in a church in Nice have only reinforced expectations in a France where tensions relating to secularism, religions and in the first place Islam, regularly electrify public debate.
However, the bill also upsets pillars such as the 1905 law on the separation of churches and state or the freedoms of association and education, with the risk of side effects.
“We have let our guard down”
“Among the reproaches that are made to us, we are told that to solve the problem of Muslims, we hit everyone. On the other hand, we are accused of stigmatizing Islam without managing to hide it ”, schematizes an LREM member of the commission. Taking up the antiphon of” Working “, he argues on the contrary ” the balance “ of a text designed as a “Political object”.
The fight against separatism responds to “A real concern of our fellow citizens”, press it “Walker” from Val-d’Oise Guillaume Vuilletet. “For several years, we have let our guard down”, adds this spokesperson for the majority group on this text.
The bill provides for a battery of measures on the neutrality of the public service, the fight against online hatred, family education, reinforced control of associations, better transparency of religions and their funding, the fight against virginity certificates, polygamy or forced marriages, etc.
It is a text “Of freedom and not of constraint” who “Does not target religions in general, nor a particular religion”, judge Gérald Darmanin, Minister of the Interior which bears the text with Marlène Schiappa and will be present in the “Mini-hemicycle” from the Lamartine room next week.
“Ineffective”, ruled on Sunday the head of RN Marine Le Pen, saying that she would present “A counter-project”. Deputy LR Annie Genevard believes that “On the regal, the majority is paralyzed by the accusations of amalgamation while we are in a situation of great emergency”.
Conversely, LFI denounces by the voice of its leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon a “Law of stigmatization of Muslims”.
“Everyone will want to make the text a political marker”, observes an LREM deputy. Including within the majority, where cohesion will be put to the test. As is often the case with sovereign subjects.