French National Assembly approves bill to combat Islamist extremism

French President Emmanuel Macron walks through the Galerie des Bustes (Busts Gallery) to access the Versailles Palace's hemicycle for a special congress gathering both houses of parliament (National Assembly and Senate), near Paris, France, July 3, 2017. REUTERS/Etienne Laurent/Pool - RC12EB1A68A0
French President Emmanuel Macron had vowed to crack down on Islamist extremism in the country

France’s National Assembly approved Tuesday a law to fight Islamist extremism and separatism in an attempt to tackle the root causes of jihadist violence, reports France24. The bill comes after France witnessed a wave of attacks in which more than 250 people have been killed since 2015.

The bill would expand the government’s powers to close religious organisations and places of worship if they are found to air “theories or ideas” that “provoke hate or violence”.

As per the report, the new legislation offers protection to moderate community leaders who are in danger of being toppled by an extremist “putsch”. It will also require all associations to commit in writing to uphold “republican values” – the liberal, Enlightenment values France holds dear – if they want to receive state subsidies.

In order to crack down on religious funding from countries such as Turkey, Qatar or Saudi Arabia, the law will require associations to declare donations over €10,000 euros and have their accounts certified.

The proposed law proposes stricter criteria for authorising home schooling of children over three years old to prevent parents taking their children out of public schools and enrolling them in underground Islamist structures.

President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist party rallied around the law, with 347 MPs voting in favour, 151 against and 65 abstaining. The bill will now be submitted to the upper house, the Senate, where Macron’s party does not hold a majority.

Murder the changed France

The bill was put forward after the October 16 brutal stabbing and beheading of the teacher Samuel Paty by a Chechen Islamist militant who was unhappy about the display of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed in a class on freedom of expression. Paty showed these images to his civics class while emphasising that students could choose not to look at them if they were offended.

The gruesome murder of Paty sparked outrage across France – prompting Macron to crack down on Islamist extremism and violence in a country.

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