"At the time, my parents didn't want me to marry my neighbour, and my daughter, who is in her thirties, married a Catholic man., She said to herself that if her dad didn’t want her to, she would marry him anyway. But at the time, I couldn't... there was respect, you couldn't say…”
“That's it. I am Muslim, my husband is Christian. I respect him and he also loves me a lot, so he respects my religion.
He has never said to me that I shouldn’t do Ramadan..."
Religion refers to man and woman relationship with the divine, with the sacred. This relationship takes the form of rituals, moral practices, and rites. For a religion to exist, there must be a belief in something supra-natural, i.e., something beyond the human being; or a faith. Rituals or moral practices may derive from it, such as prayers, which become the expression of the beliefs the religion is based on.
The term religion can be used, in a more general manner, to describe a deep feeling of respect and veneration for a person, a value or a doctrine.
Religion is often seen as a polemic subject, and it creates a great number of debates. The principle of secularism reigns in France. According to the Oxford Dictionary, secularism is “the belief that religion should not be involved in the organization of society, education, etc.”. Ostentatious signs of religious affiliation are not accepted in public spaces and services. Wearing the veil in public is thus a topic of debate in France: in 2011, Julien Odoul, an elected member of the Rassemblement National (RN), attacked a woman wearing a hijab while attending a plenary session in the audience of the regional council of Bourgogne-Franche-Comté. He asked her to leave the meeting because of her veil in front of her son. However, according to the French law, “only staff members who carry out a public service mission are bound by strict neutrality in application of the principle of secularism” (Nicolas Cadène, the general rapporteur of the Observatory of Secularism within the government, in an interview for FranceInfo). In March 2021, senators voted an amendment banning mothers wearing hijabs from school outings. Meanwhile, in the USA, Ilhan Omar, a veiled woman, is serving as the U.S. Representative for Minnesota’s 5th congressional district since 2019. As we can see, religion – or at least ostentatious signs of religion – can be a factor of social exclusion.