13 September 2015
For over 100 years France has prided itself on the principle it calls laïcité, in which the State doesn't recognise any official religion. And, in the wake of President Hollande's call to take in 24,000 refugees, PM Valls said 'you don't select by religion..' So, why then did several French mayors say they will only take in those who are Christian? Les Républicains' mayor Yves Nicolin in Roanne said it is only by checking refugees are Christian that he can “be absolutely sure they are not disguised terrorists”. Of course there have been reports that there may be thousands of 'terrorists' who have been smuggled into Europe under cover as 'migrants'. Clearly that is what is behind the mayors' frightened decisions. Some say it is easy to check people are Christian by asking a few questions about Christianity. Nonsense! Non-Christian does not equal violent. Christianity does not equal non-violence - check out the Crusades! For the record, I am the most pacifist of people. I don't kill flies and I savour life above all else. Oh, and I could probably answer more questions about Christianity than the average person. The answer then? Admit all refugees and ask them to sign an agreement that they swear to uphold the law and conform to the natural lores, culture and general dress codes of the new country. Full stop.