The polemic on the Swiss referendum illustrates well the difficulty of our country of being in a dialogue of cultures. Christine Boutin (former Minister of Housing and Cities and leader of the Christian-Democratic Party (PCD) of France):
“After 40 years of soixante-huitard thought, does one have to avoid recalling that our country is of Christian tradition?”
For the President of the Christian-Democratic Party, “the dialogue between people should not be conducted by erasing eachother's history and traditions”.
“Our country is full of Judeo-Christian tradition and laic humanism, this is why it allows a place to all beliefs. That is not new, as is demonstrated by the construction of the Large Mosque of Paris in homage to those of Islamic faith who fell in the First World War. We should not allow ourselves to think that France is virgin of any cultural or spiritual reference. The minarets symbolize the territory of Islam and France is not a territory of Islam. If France wishes to allow all the Muslims who live there to live their religion in a free way, open and decent; it is in the name of a long tradition of freedom of worship and separation between politics and religion. The generalization of the construction of minarets would lead people to think that France has ceased to defend its values and its history.”
Translated from the original French by Jonathan van Tongeren