The French do not understand secularism

The French senate voted 246 to 1, with about 100 abstentions from mostly protesting left-wing parties, to ban face-covering Islamic headdress.

As an atheist with humanist pretensions, I have to describe this sort of secularism impoverished of tolerance worse than useless. It will almost certainly retard the assimilation of Muslim immigrants most of its proponents want to encourage. Muslims will recognize the arbitrariness with which they have been singled out, and respond with the same fear and distrust that they have been met with. Jihadist goons will use the law to indict the West as a whole, swaying more of their undecided kinsmen closer to their own position, or at least away from appreciating democratic ideals. This plays into their narrative.

The Eiffel Tower has already received a bomb threat; I can’t believe that is a coincidence.


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