While attention is focussed on proposals to extend the Napoleonic concordat in Alsace-Moselle to the Muslims there
and also to other areas of France, other concordats go unnoticed: renewals of a concordat about French nuns in Rome and the 2008 concordat on higher education. These have gone under the radar because they aren't called "concordats"! Increasingly there are calls to add Islam to the four "recognised religions" subsidised by the state in Alsace-Moselle. The Church has long argued that concordats cease to be unfair if other major religions conclude (necessarily weaker) "agreements" with governments. In 2003, Archbishop Doré, former Archbishop of Strasburg, published a public letter advocating the inclusion of Islam as a publically-funded "recognised religion". In September 2009 this demand
was made by the president of the French Council of Muslim Faith
Naturally, French Muslims have individual opinions on this matter, and the Muslim feminist, Fadela Amara, (see below) has been outspoken in defending laïcité
(secularism). So too did the last President of France, Jacques Chirac, who proclaimed in a speech
Secularism guarantees freedom of conscience. It protects the freedom
to believe or not to believe....It is the neutrality of the public arena which permits the various religions to coexist harmoniously. [...] This is why it is not negotiable!
However, his successor, President Nicolas Sarkozy, appears to be trying to do all he can to undermine it. (For a chronology in French of Sarkozy's moves against secularism, dating from the start of 2007, the year he was elected, see Nicolas Sarkozy président : plus près de toi Seigneur