Other attacks took place in France Oct. 29. In Montfavet, near Avignon, a man waving a handgun made threats and was killed by the police two hours after the Nice attack. Radio station Europe 1 said the man was also shouting "Allahu Akbar."
Mohammed Moussaoui, president of the CFCM, condemned the terrorist attack and asked French Muslims to cancel their festivities for Mawlid, the Oct. 29 celebration of Muhammad's birthday, "as a sign of mourning and solidarity with the victims and their loved ones."
Macron introduced sweeping anti-radicalization legislation following the attacks, which is set to be debated in the French cabinet Dec. 9. Restrictions on homeschooling are among the provisions of the bill.
Other provisions of the bill include stricter punishments for those who intimidate public officials on religious grounds; extending national identification numbers- which most students in France already have- to homeschoolers to ensure that students are attending school; and a ban on sharing personal information that allows people who want to harm a person to find them, a practice known in the U.S. as "doxxing."
The concept of laïcité, or secularism, has been a fixture of French law since 1905. At that time, the Third Republic officially established state secularism, causing a subsequent wave of anti-Catholicism, which included the end of government funding for religious schools, mandatory civil marriage, and the removal of chaplains from the army.
The principles of laïcité have evolved over the years to apply to private citizens as well as the government, and in recent decades been applied to Muslim women who wear hijabs or other religious garb in public.
During summer 2016, the Council of State, France's highest administrative court, ruled that the burkini ban in the town of Villeneuve-Loubet "seriously and clearly illegally breached fundamental freedoms," including freedom of belief.
On Nov. 30 this year, the French Council of State ruled that a proposed 30-person limit on Masses and other forms of public worship is a "disproportionate" government measure and must be modified by Dec. 2.
The country's Catholic bishops welcomed the decision Nov. 29, saying in a statement that "reason has been recognized."
France has suffered over a dozen Islamist terrorist attacks since 2015, including a January attack on the offices of Charlie Hebdo, a satirical newspaper, and a series of coordinated attacks in Paris during November 2015 that killed at least 130 people. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the Paris attacks.
Father Jacques Hamel was beheaded by supporters of the Islamic State while offering Mass July 26, 2016. Following Paty's killing this year, religious leaders gathered at a memorial to Hamel and laid a wreath in Paty's honor.
(Story continues below)
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
At Catholic News Agency, our team is committed to reporting the truth with courage, integrity, and fidelity to our faith. We provide news about the Church and the world, as seen through the teachings of the Catholic Church. When you subscribe to the CNA UPDATE, we'll send you a daily email with links to the news you need and, occasionally, breaking news.
As part of this free service you may receive occasional offers from us at EWTN News and EWTN. We won't rent or sell your information, and you can unsubscribe at any time.
In England, multiple Catholic bishops have expressed concern that the government's push for "British values" in schools, meant to counter Islamist extremism, could instead harm sincere religious believers and burden Catholic schools.