Understanding the Cultural Issues: Laicite

Like many countries, French history is thick with violence stemming from religious conflict. Out of this history, France developed the secular value called Laicite. Laicite means that the government is to remain strictly neutral in terms of religion. It also is to promote a civil environment where no one can intimidate any other person due to their religion.

Islam is growing in France due to immigration. Muslims make up approximately 8% of Franc'e total population. For many years, there have been conflicts between school administrators and young Islamic women who wear the hijab. Until recently, each school addressed the problem in its own way. However, in December, France decided to make this a legislative issue. They consider the wearing of the hijab to be subtle religious intimidation and against the French principle of Laicite.

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