According to certain news websites, the French state is considering replacing two holidays devoted to Catholic public holidays with Muslim and Jewish ones. This is false. This idea exists – it was put forward in a report by the think tank Terra Nova on 22 February 2017 – but has no legislative action attached to it. In the document entitled: “The Emancipation of Islam in France“, the think tank, which defines itself as “progressive”, makes recommendations for the organisation of Islam in the country.
One of these recommendations concerns the holidays associated with religious festivals. Currently, in France, the only public holidays associated with a religion are Christian ones – including two Mondays (Easter and Pentecost). For “religions to be treated more equally”, Terra Nova advocates “integrating at least two new important dates, Yom Kippur and Eid al-Adha, as public holidays, by removing the two Mondays which do not correspond to any particular solemnity”.
Terra Nova’s recommendations are not binding for policy-makers. The foundation is close to the Socialist Party, but the government has never announced that it wants to put in place such a measure. Additionally, the Muslim and Jewish religious associations have never demanded the inclusion of new public holidays, with the exception of the UOIF (Union of Islamic Organizations of France).
The idea of introducing more equity in the confessional distribution of holidays has already been mentioned by some politicians such as Eva Joly during the 2012 presidential campaign or Bernard Stasi in his report on secularism handed over to President Jacques Chirac at the end of 2003.
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