I strongly disagree with both Al Qaeda and this view:
"these people are not tolerant seculars but rabid anticlericals"
Try tell that to the Turkish secularists who also banned Islamic headscarves in state schools and offices.
Also, try imagine where Turkey would be without Ataturk's legacy and the secularists.
I don't like the French government's policy in many many areas, especially foreign, but on this, they're right on, and with good motives, as explained so well in the laicity commission report. Schools cannot be areas for religious fundamentalists proselytising.
Seeing a basic, simple principle like that as "intolerant secularism" is indeed in the same mentality as Al Qaeda.
Why, on the other hand, are so many French Muslim, especially women, supporting the ban?
Makes you wonder, doesn't it.