President Emmanuel Macron said at a naturalization ceremony that if individuals seek to become French citizens, they will have to accept the French culture that includes mockery, caricature, and even religion, according to Al Jazeera.
“You Don’t Choose One Part”
The solemn ceremony took place Friday in the Paris Pantheon, a mausoleum for French heroes where Macron handed French papers to five new citizens.
It also marked the 150th anniversary of the Third Republic, France’s democratic history.
The French president said citizens don’t get to “choose one part of France.”
“You choose France” in its entirety, he added.
“The Republic” prohibits any separationists, reports the Associated Press.
The Third Republic: Shaped By Immigrants
President Macron welcomed five new citizens from Algeria, Britain, Cameroon, Lebanon, and Peru during the ceremony, US News reported.
He acknowledged that the Third Republic was announced from Paris city hall on September 4, 1870.
Also known as La Troisième République, the declaration was made by Leon Gambetta, of Italian descent.
Gambetta was, “like you,” an offspring “of immigrants, French of mixed blood.”
It was Gambetta who “resuscitated the republic,” this period “of freedom,” the French President said.
President Macron also mentioned extraordinary immigrants who have transformed French history.
Among those were the scientist Marie Curie, who was born in Poland, and Felix Eboue.
Eboue is France’s first Black governor and first Black man to have his ashes stowed in the Mausoleum for heroes.
“Now it is your turn to write your chapter in the book of the republic,” says Macron.
Also, during the ceremony, Macron justified the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, which published controversial caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad.
The caricatures provoked two French-born Islamic extremists to stage the attack on the paper’s newsroom in January 2015, per AP.
In the coming months, Macron has promised a law against “Islamic separatism.”
He, however, did not clarify what the law would police.
Several critics fear it could unreasonably stigmatize the Muslim population in France.