In the News: Djemila Benhabib Calls for Decisive Action on Secularism

Laïcité: le nouveau gouvernement doit agir avec rigueur et diligence (Secularism: The New Government Must Act With Rigour and Diligence), Djemila Benhabib, leNouvelliste, 2018-10-06

2016-09-30, Djemila at the Montreal courthouse
Djemila Benhabib is a writer,
secular activist and recipient of the
Prix international de la laïcité 2012.

Djemila Benhabib urges the new Quebec government of François Legault and his CAQ party to act with rigour, decisiveness and consistency. In particular, they must not be distracted by the anti-secular forces who have already begun to mobilise against the government, as if planning a putsch!

This long debate must be resolved by adopting legislation to implement a truly secular state. As for religious symbols worn by state employees, to ban them will establish parity between political convictions (whose symbols are already banned) and religious, spiritual and philosophical beliefs. Thus, the requirement of political neutrality will be extended to include religious neutrality.

Given the strong majority which it won in the recent election, the new government has a solid mandate to proceed. It must act decisively where the Parti québécois failed—and where the Quebec Liberal Party had neither the courage nor the will to act.

Secularism puts believers and non-believers on an equal footing. It applies the same requirements to both the majority and minorities.

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