France is a Republic that claims liberty, equality and fraternity to be its motto, and was founded, after the “Declaration of Rights of Man and the Citizen in 1789”, by the people for the people based on democratic, secular and social ideas. The social refers to equality, democratic to liberty and secular to fraternity. The equality is declared a core component as all citizens are equal irrespective of their “social, ethnic, religious or other backgrounds”. All these principles and values had a long history of struggle that started with French Revolution during the end of 18th century and caused lives of many French citizens then.

The Republic of France is well known for propagating modern liberal and democratic values to the world. Yet, the current wave of challenges to France has revealed a contradictory and cold-blooded face of all its proclaimed ideas. The central theme for all these ideas were mainly derived from French Revolution, in which Lock’s views, explained in his Second Treatise about Civil Government, with reference to natural rights of people to life, liberty and property, played a vital role. However, the recent Burkini Ban based on Islamophobia is an all-out violation to all these values.

The French constitution provides protection to the freedom of religion and the official State policy revolves around laïcité, in accordance to which State matters and religion have absolutely no link and it ensures to maintain religion out of public life.

Despite the presence of strict secular laws that barricades the room for any religiously motivated movements, the French Government tries to manage good relations with representatives of three main religious entities of the country i.e. Islam, Christianity and Judaism. Per contra to this, France’s policies towards Muslims, substantially over the last twelve years, is predominantly driven by Islamophobia.

In 2004, a law prohibiting any act in public institutions like government schools and State offices, that symbolizes religion was passed in France, targeting essentially the Muslim girls wearing headscarves, blatantly violating not just the women rights but in fact it was an assault over the right to freedom of religion.

Nevertheless, French government’s Islamophobic policies were far from over and further in 2010 French Senate imposed a ban on all kinds of veils, which could be used to cover the face such as “burqa” and “naqab”, in public. In addition to France, European Court of Human Rights upheld this law in 2014 declaring that the law was not contravening to the European Convention on Human Rights.

Moreover, the ban on burkini by local French governments and its endorsement from some local courts, albeit, their top Court precisely overruled the ban in violation to basic human rights, displays the intensity of anti-Islamic sentiments within the power corridors of French society. It is being extensively reported that situation in France is quite serious with respect to the resentment among French Muslims especially of North African origin and rest of the citizens.

The modern political thought presented by European philosophers over the last several centuries had huge impact in shaping the political framework of French system. The Islamophobic acts of French government according to Rousseau, one of the most influential and celebrated French philosopher, could be considered as legitimate. It can be said as Rousseau gives a State the power to implement these policies because it has the endorsement from the people and it represents “general will” which he regarded to be always right in terms of national interests of the State.

Besides the authority his ideas give to the Democratic Government, he also believes that human beings are born innocent, while it is the society that corrupts them. If the former idea legitimize the French government’s Islamophobia then the latter thought justifies the inclination towards ISIL.

Additionally, according to Lock, who likewise Rousseau supports democratic system, the government is bound to protect the life, liberty and property of its citizen and in case if it violates these rights, the people would be rightful and legitimate to rebel.

Intelligentsia across all corners of the World had categorically denounced the oppression, repression and suppression of Muslim community. The Islamophobia-centered approach, methodology, policies and actions of French politicians along with their support from the far right segment of European political entities together with some of Europe’s power centers, have been widely regarded as a boost required to ISIL and Al-Qaeda to further accelerate terror attack throughout the Western World.

The radical enforcement of secular notion in France, even though it’s an open-ended violation of liberal norms and values, resembles a new form of theocracy driven by certain interest groups side by side with the public support. This neo-theocracy followed by centuries-old struggle to get rid of Catholicism would generate more hostility in the current massively polarized and multi-polar world politics.

The radical version of secularized theocracy in France and augmenting Islamophobia in the West is a much greater threat to the global peace and security as compared to ISIL, AL-Qaeda and other militant Organizations. The Western Imperialism in international politics is the primary reason for the ongoing turmoil in today’s world. The extremist behavior of France is more dangerous because it is being executed at the State level and is legitimate. We have seen in 20th century how legitimate Hitler’s government resulted massive destruction over the entire planet which collectively all militant transnational actors have hardly caused.