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In the National Assembly, the wearing of religious symbols in sports competitions opposes the Republicans and the majority

It’s a bit like the return match of the debates on the law “consolidating the principles of the Republic”, in 2021, that the deputies Les Républicains (LR) and those of the majority played, Wednesday, February 9, at the National Assembly . The subject of the bitter discussion between the proponents of a secularism that calls itself “open” and those of a stricter secularism, erected as a banner of the fight against Islamism: an amendment to the proposed law on the sport aimed at prohibiting the wearing of religious symbols in sports competitions.

At the end of this legislature, it is a subject that many did not think would come back to Parliament. After the promulgation of the law on the principles of the Republic (known as “separatism”) in August 2021, the majority had promised to no longer reopen the subject of religious neutrality, very divisive, even in its ranks. This was without counting the LR party, the majority in the Senate and the first opposition group in the National Assembly. After a first smooth reading of the text of the group La République en Marche (LRM) on the “democratization of sport” in March 2021 at the Palais-Bourbon, the senatorial right voted on January 19, against the government’s opinion, an amendment on religious symbols, with the veil in sight.

Read also The wearing of the veil during a sports competition banned again by the senators

This point caused the tensions of the majority and resulted in a disagreement between senators and deputies in the joint joint committee (CMP), on January 31. Since then, the debate has highlighted in particular the “Hijabeuses”, a collective of footballers who campaign for the right to wear the veil in sports competitions. The president of the LR group in the Senate, Bruno Retailleau, denounces the “compromise” of Emmanuel Macron and his majority with “radical Islamism”.

“The Hijabeuses are testing us”

A speech taken up by the twenty LR deputies present, Wednesday, for the new reading of the bill. In front of a sparse hemicycle, the deputy LR of the Alpes-Maritimes Eric Ciotti castigated the results of the head of state in the field of the fight against Islamism, by defending a motion of rejection prior to the text, finally rejected. “Islamism is spreading in prayer rooms, in mosques, in homes and today in clubs and sports federations”, he assured.

In his speech of about ten minutes, Mr. Ciotti, who had not taken part in the previous discussions on the bill, denounced in turn “ambiguities”, ” cowardice “the “total convergence of views between the majority and insubordinate France”, and “submission to the Islamists” macronist elected officials, arousing boos in return. “Zemmour, get out of this body!” », exclaimed LRM deputy for Saône-et-Loire Rémy Rebeyrotte, before being called to order by the chair of the session, Annie Genevard (LR, Doubs). ” A shame “, retorted the president of the LRM group in the Assembly, Christophe Castaner. The Secretary of State for Priority Education, Nathalie Elimas, had tried to dissuade the LR opposition a few minutes earlier: “Attempts to instrumentalize this law, to relaunch debates on neutrality in sport, and in the public sphere, are deleterious. »

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