Paris: France’s Lower House of the Parliament on Tuesday passed the controversial bill – ‘Islamist separatism’ – to fight religious extremism, news agency AFP reported. The ruling government tabled the bill highlighting the need to bloster secular ecosystem in the country. However, those critical of the bill call it as breach to religious freedom. ALSO READ | Kiran Bedi Removed As Puducherry LG; Telangana Governor Given Additional Charge
France President Emmanuel Macron-led centric party championed the legislation with 347 National Assembly lawmakers voting in favour of the Bill, while 151 against it and 65 restraining to vote.
As per reports, the passed legislation strengthens government oversight of mosques, religious schools and crack down on polygamy and forced marriage, among other measures aimed at rooting out Islamic radicalism.
The bill is part of broader French efforts to fight extremism in recent years that gained new urgency after a teacher was beheaded in October and various such attacks. Tabling the Bill, Macron said that measures are required in order to preserve the French values including gender equality and secular fabric of the nation.
The Bill won approval in the National Assembly, which is dominated by Macron’s centrist party, as well as the conservative-led Senate.
Meanwhile a strong protest against the Bill were witnessed in the country with over 200 people demonstrating in Paris last week accusing the legislation of reinforcing discrimination against the Muslim community.