"Try tell that to the Turkish secularists who also banned Islamic headscarves in state schools and offices. (...)"
Oh. So I'm writing that the French political class has a long tradition of rabid anticlericalism (starting with the French Revolution's Jacobins) and you're challenging me on the grounds that you believe the Turks are not. What's your point exactly?
"they're right on, and with good motives"
Nope. they're off target and they know it - after all, part of them is completely helpless in dealing with the real threat, the other is staging a show to keep their seat warm with their own bottoms after the upcoming elections.
But they do have "good motives" indeed. That's probably the only thing on which I would agree with them.
"Schools cannot be areas for religious fundamentalists proselytising."
Indeed. And I could add as well that it's not the place for any kind of proselytism, including political. But then, we would have to fire a good 90% of the teachers... Do you have any suggestion that might help?
Anyway, the ban is not aiming at the proselytes, but at the believers. For your information, the same state and local powers (region, town, etc.) that are now banning veiled schoolgirls in public schools will actually keep financing mosques where the bearded fundamentalists will preach their hate.
But thank to the Almighty State (praise be upon It), we're safe from veiled little girls (even though little girls are not)
"Seeing a basic, simple principle like that as "intolerant secularism" is indeed in the same mentality as Al Qaeda."
Well, in my book a "basic and simple principle" that targets each and every religions without distinction is what I call intolerant secularism. Don't know how you call that.
"Why, on the other hand, are so many French Muslim, especially women, supporting the ban"
Maybe because, just like you, they don't look beyond the appearances and see the real implications of this weak answer to a real problem?