French human rights activist Maria Di Caterina has criticized her country’s government’s adoption of the “Principles of Strengthening Respect for the Values of the Republic” bill, for targeting Muslims in the country.
The bill is one of the most controversial issues among jurists and activists in France recently, as it was defined for the first time as “fighting separatist Islam.”
Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Di Caterina said that the final approval of the draft law by the National Assembly (Parliament) on July 23 this legitimizes racist practices against Muslims and reinforces Islamophobia.
The law was approved by 49 votes to 19 against.
Di Caterina added that the bill targets Muslims in its provisions, and seeks to “kill” their right to freedom.
She considered the draft law “a repetition of the indigenous law that France applies to the peoples of the countries that exploit it.”
She explained that the French people, contrary to what is portrayed in the biased media, respect Islam and believe in pluralism and ensuring the right to worship for all freely.
The Law on “Principles for Promoting Respect for the Values of the Republic” provides for the oversight of mosques and associations responsible for their management, and the control of funding for Muslim civic organizations.
It also imposes restrictions on families’ freedom to educate their children at home, and prohibits the wearing of headscarves in pre-university education institutions.
France is one of the largest European countries in terms of the size of the Muslim community, as their number in mid-2016 reached about 5.7 million, which constitutes 8.8% of the total population.