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Global Report - 15-September -2008

sunny Pope backs President Sarkozy on positive secularism The pontiff in his speech at the Elysee Palace should have refrained from advocating change in the French secular tradition, wherein he called for a more open approach to secularism which would accept Christian roots of French society. The Pope may be widely popular in France but he has no authority to dictate the dos and don’ts of French secularism. France is a staunchly secular nation. The separation between the church and the state is enshrined in the national identity and that should remain so. The notion of Positive secularism propounded by President Sarkozy and supported by Pope Benedict XVI that allows space for religion in public life cannot be allowed to pollute the French ideal of secularism. We are living in a world that is fast succumbing to fundamentalist fanaticism, and any measure that allows religion a free play in public life would constitute an act of provocation, proselytism or propaganda that would harm the dignity or freedom of other people. The Pope should come up with a better idea to instill Christian beliefs in French Catholics. Israel protests against Iranian threats Protest by the Israeli state is rightly justified. Iran needs to understand that we do not live in a perfect world and that whatever we give comes back to us. Comments by Israeli officials should be seen in the light of Iranian threat to eradicate Israel from the world map. No one in Israel would be interested in kidnapping Ahmadinejad and no Israeli likes war. But then what can be done to ensure the security and viability of the Israeli state, surrounded by rogue bodies bent on destroying it. It must be understood that the Jewish state of Israel is not at war with Hamas or Hezbollah that are pawns of Iran – who is responsible for the funding, creation and arming of both the terrorist organizations. The world should understand that no amount of territorial concession by Israel, be it in west bank or Gaza strip, can wipe out ...