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Why France can’t stop talking about religion

By Jonathan Derbyshire  

In late July, there were riots in Trappes, south of Paris, after a woman was stopped by police and instructed to remove her full-face veil in accordance with legislation passed by the government of former president Nicolas Sarkozy in 2011. Her husband, who came to her aid, was arrested. The rioting that followed lasted two nights.

Shortly afterwards, the interior minister Manuel Valls—who, in a spasm of Sarkozyesque hyperactivity, seemed to spend the whole of August in the office while his ministerial colleagues were, in the best French tradition, on the beach—welcomed a report by the High Council on Integration…

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