The French Catholic Church warned Paris today against banning Muslim full-face veils. It said France must respect the rights of its Muslims if it wanted Islamic countries to do the same for their Christian minorities.
Bishop Michel Santier, the top French Catholic official for inter-religious dialogue, said very few women in France wore full veils and Muslim leaders agreed it was not obligatory in Islam.
“The French, including the Catholics among them, should not let themselves be gripped by fear or a ‘clash of civilisations’ theory,” he said in a statement calling for distinctions between the majority of peaceful Muslims and a minority of radicals. “If we want Christian minorities in Muslim majority countries to enjoy all their rights, we should in our country respect the rights of all believers to practice their faith.”