An alarming trend toward intolerance in France shows a lack of respect of Article 2 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:
“Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.”
According to a piece today on the BBC website, “Israel has said an increasing number of Jewish people are migrating to the country from France because of a rise in anti-Semitism. Around 3,200 people left last year, a 63% jump when compared to 20.” The video that accompanies this article shows footage of a January 2014 march in Paris with thousands chanting a slogan for Jews to leave France. The video points out that French Jews are now less likely to wear clothing that identifies them as Jewish.
In 2004, France passed a law banning school children from wearing religious symbols in all educational establishments, except for universities and now wants to extend this to universities and in 2011 banned the wearing of the full face-covering Islamic veil in all public places.
Does this not cut across the individual’s right to express religious conviction?
Education in human rights is critical in building tolerance and understanding and a respect for the rights of others.
The video, The Story of Human Rights, is a simple presentation of what human rights are: