President Emmanuel Macron yesterday unveiled a plan to defend France's secular values against Islamist radicalism, describing Islam as a religion "in crisis" all over the world.
In a long-awaited address, Macron insisted "no concessions" would be made in a new drive to push religion out of education and the public sector in France.
"Islam is a religion that is in crisis all over the world today, we are not just seeing this in our country," he said.
He announced that the government would present a bill in December to strengthen a 1905 law that officially separated church and state in France.
The measures, Macron said, were aimed at addressing a problem of growing Islamic radicalisation in France and improving "our ability to live together".
"Secularism is the cement of a united France," he insisted, but added that there was no sense in stigmatising all Muslim believers.
The law permits people to belong to any faith of their choosing, Macron said, but outward displays of religious affiliation can under no circumstances be allowed in schools or the public service.
He announced that France would seek to "liberate" Islam in France from foreign influences by improving oversight of the financing of mosques.
There would also be closer scrutiny of schools and associations exclusively serving religious communities.