D'une laïcité à l'autre

les débats sur le voile et la mémoire de la loi Ferry

in Historical Reflections/Réflexions Historiques
Author: Mayyada Kheir
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Throughout the 2004 headscarf affair, both partisans and opponents of the law have claimed to stand for laïcité, this founding value of the Third Republic. While there were of course many other issues at stake—including, but not limited to, feminism, postcolonialism, the banlieues problem—it is impossible to understand the scope and the positions of this debate without taking into account the importance of laïciteacute; in French history. This paper presents an analysis of one of the founding debates on French laïcité, the one leading to the Ferry law of 1882 on non-confessional education in public primary schools. By examining more closely the birth of the école laïque, we hope to offer a new perspective on the contemporary issues.

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