The glorious hype and the ugly reality of French values

“Few of the countries that are said to be developed and that claim to be lands of freedoms, fraternity and equality live as much as ours in a context of inequality” wrote French trade union activist Michel Gevrey back in 2006.When Emmanuel Macron issued his ultimatum to Muslim leaders on 19 November this year, many criticised his arrogant approach towards faith leaders given the restrictions imposed by France’s commitment to the principle of “laïcité” – a secular French Republic.But since the president’s 2 October speech in the city of Les Mureaux on what he termed “Islamist separatism”, Macro…

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