Sarkozy delivers a mixed message to France's immigrants...
By Edward Cody - December 9, 2009
             
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his muffled threat felt by so many people in our old European nations, rightly or wrongly, weighs on their identity," Sarkozy added. "We must all speak about this together, out of fear that, if it is kept hidden, this sentiment could end up nourishing a terrible rancor."

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Comments by Tommaso Fronte.

                       
                                   
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he "International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights" (ICCPR), adopted by the UN in 1966 makes a difference between freedom of religious belief, with no limitation, and freedom of worship, with restrictions which may be imposed by the political power for public order purpose : " Article 18-2. No one shall be subject to coercion which would impair his freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice " but also " Article 18-3. Freedom to manifest one's religion or beliefs may be subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary to protect public safety, order, health, or morals or the fundamental rights and freedoms of others".

Dialogue and debates should provide solutions on a case by case basis to avoid mandatory laws ; yet, peaceful solutions are not always reached and fierce conflicts may develop, related to religions, as in Ireland, Kosovo, Tibet, Middle East...

According to the above International Covenant (ICCPR) , the way of practicing a religion can not be restricted, unless otherwise prescribed by a national law. Thus Switzerland held a referendum on the minarets ; the outcome of the consultation was against the erection of this kind of religious towers and this reignited the debate.

It is not unusual that the outcome of a referendum contrasts with the dominant views of elected representatives . The same happened in France and in some EU countries, in connection with the referendum on the European constitution, in 2005. In such cases, more efforts are required to work out compromising agreements.

        text of the Covenant    
                                         
       

Should we prefer an apparent harmony achieved trhough questionnable methods ? For instance, to avoid criticsm, France presents its nuclear plants as sites where alegedly safety is religiously obseved; but in case of safety gaps... it’s dangerous to ring the alarm bell ! When, as part of my scope of senior design engineer, I had to report serious safety breaches which I refused to support, the sanctions where inflicted only to me, the alerting reporter ; these sanctions are unlawfull , but the Criminal Division of the French Supreme Court issued four rulings against me. Are ordinary citizens aware ? They don’t, because everybody has an interest to keep as silent as with a "beef on his tongue " . Debates are decided on the loudness of the claps and this would mean that nuclear plants are globally accepted with no remarks at all . This is the other way in France people is harmonized with the nuclear plants all around , dispite the International Convention for Nuclear Safety (AIEA, Wien 1994) and regardless of rule of law.

Tommaso Fronte.
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