Religious Common Cause

The New York Times has a good article on how Muslims in France are turning to Roman Catholics to fill the educational needs of girls, who are prohibited from entering the public school system if they wear a head scarf.

Here is a quote from an employee at a Catholic school explaining that Roman Catholics are more tolerant than secularists:

Mr. Chamoux, a slow-moving, jovial man, has been here 20 years and seems to know each student by name. Under a crucifix in his cramped office, he extolled the virtues of Catholic schools. “We practice religious freedom; the public schools don’t,” he said. “We teach the national curriculum. Religious activities are entirely optional.”

Of course, the French response is that the scarf is sexist, especially if women are forced to wear it. So their response is to be sexist and force women to uncover:

“The head scarf is a sexist sign, and discrimination between the sexes has no place in the republican school,” France’s minister of national education, Xavier Darcos, said in a telephone interview. “That is the fundamental reason why we are against it.”

To be honest though I am disgusted by this anecdote:

In 2001, after the Sept. 11 attacks, some Muslim students shocked the staff by showing glee, Mr. Chamoux recalled.

I hope that these children understand that respect for human life doesn’t mean just respect for your own life.