Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Bussy-Saint-Georges, Where Laïcité Meets Multiculturalism

Scott Sayare has a nice piece in the Times about the Paris suburb of Bussy-Saint-Georges, whose enlightened mayor, Hugues Rondeau, has created an "Esplanade of Religions" honoring the many sects that reside in his growing city. His work has been praised by UNESCO as creating a "city for intefaith dialogue." "Laïcité can often be a caricature," says Rondeau.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

If the Bussy St George development could be positive, it'd be excellent news. It was excellent reporting from the NYT.
However "laïcité" is not always a "problem" - in a community where displaying one's religion is seen as a problem by the 19 other faiths, the compromise had been that none should be shown. Does it restrict freedom of religion? Certainly. But does it help the community to get along? It did, much as it may offend American values. Seen from the US, a woman being let go for wearing a hijab and winning her lawsuit against her employer was a victory for freedom of religion. Seen from the area and women who live there, it's a victory for salafists who have been trying to close a daycare that allowed local women to work and get an education.
http://www.marianne.net/Baby-Loup-comment-on-trahit-une-creche-exemplaire_a227701.html?preaction=nl&id=5912482&idnl=26977&

Anonymous said...

Le Parisien – 7 avril 2010
Le maire de Bussy-Saint-Georges arrêté pour violences conjugales
L'élu a été interpellé à son domicile par la police pour avoir frappé sa femme à l'aide d'une béquille. C'est la deuxième fois qu'Hugues Rondeau a affaire à la justice pour violences conjugales. En mars 2009, il avait déjà été condamné à deux mois de prison avec sursis pour avoir frappé son épouse.
www.leparisien.fr/seine-et-marne-77/le-maire-de-bussy-saint-georges-arrete-pour-violences-conjugales-07-04-2010-877409.php