French presidential candidate: Nat'l holiday for Yom Kippur

By JTA
January 12, 2012 19:47

PARIS - The Green Party candidate for the French presidency has called for national holidays on Yom Kippur and the Muslim holiday of Id al-Adha.

Green Party leader Eva Joly said in a speech Wednesday that she wanted, "Jews and Muslims to be able to celebrate Yom Kippur and Id al-Adha during a day off," so that "every religion is treated equally in the public space."

Though national holidays are customary for Christian celebrations, the call made waves in France, where religion is expected to be kept private in a strictly secular society intended to be blind to race and religion.

"That is one way to look at secularism," quipped the French daily Le Figaro in its regular news coverage of the story.  Reader on-line reactions also expressed shock at the idea, and political opponents on the right and left defended the country's Christian-only holidays out of an "old tradition." 


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