Minister Elisabeth Moreno’s controversial remarks caused problems, rekindling a split over secularism among the LREM’s select few.
This is the scenario that macronist leaders feared. This week, the presidential majority once again exposed their divisions over secularism by debating in the National Assembly a Republican (LR) ban on veils in sports.
“Should not have”, regrets a member of La République en Marche (LREM). Walker’s deputies leader Christophe Castaner nonetheless urged his troops on Tuesday not to “fall into the trap set by LR”.
Alas, the controversial remarks made on Thursday by the Delegate Minister for Gender Equality caused a stir in the majority. Asked about the Hijabeuses, a group of activists who advocate for the right to wear the veil during sporting events, Elisabeth Moreno replied: “the right to wear a veil to play”. “I support the opportunity for girls to play sports without discrimination.she insisted. The law says that these young girls can wear a veil and play football. »
SEE ALSO – “Hijabuses» play football in front of the Senate to claim the right to wear the veil during sporting events
This statement, seen as an expression of support for the hijab, forced the executive branch to disown the minister in the voice of its representative. Gabriel Attal explained on Europe 1 on Friday that this position does not reflect the position of the government. However, he defended Elizabeth Moreno, pointing out that she “clarified his remarks.”
The day before, after seeing the controversy escalate, the minister told AFP that she was sorry about what had happened.“instrumentalization” of your statement. “I am in no way advocating the existence of sports associations that expressly suggest that wearing a veil is a condition of membership and a form of identity statement.”she pointed out.
This confusion has revived the lingering schism among the majority of supporters of so-called secularism. openedand supporters of stricter secularism. Divisions under the fire extinguisher since the debate about the law “separatism ”, beginning of 2021. “We have done everything to avoid this. Elisabeth Moreno’s departure was badly arranged, she expressed herself badly.”observed by a member of the LREM group in the National Assembly.
In fact, the disagreements between the macronists resumed even before the minister’s statements. On Wednesday, in the National Assembly, the deputies discussed the amendment of the Republic of Latvia to the law on sports, aimed at banning the wearing of conspicuous religious symbols at competitions.
At the government’s call, a majority of the elected LREM and Democratic Movement (MoDem) present voted to abolish it, condemning attempts“instrumentalization”on right. But six members of the majority distanced themselves from their colleagues by voting against. Among them are ex-LR François Jolivet and Aurora Berger, as well as Anne-Christine Lang, close to the minister Jean-Michel Blanquer, who adheres to strong secularism.“Religion has nothing to do with sports”explained in Hemicycle Walker by Aurora Berge.
Ironically, confusion eventually spread through the ranks of the executive branch. In response to comments by his colleague Elisabeth Moreno, Ministers Bruno Le Maire (Economics) and Marlene Schiappa (Citizenship) said they are in favor of banning the use of conspicuous religious symbols during competitions… while the government defends the status quo before face offer LR.
New rules were introduced in Matignon after the intervention of Elisabeth Moreno. On Friday, Jean Castex’s staff asked the ministers to announce their appearances on radio and television in advance. With the hope of avoiding new controversy by the end of the five-year term.