Dear Dissident Frogman, there's no need to react like I blew a nuke in your comment section, I'm only strongly disagreeing with your position. I apologise if you're offended by me referring to your position as "libertarian", if it's not correct, then I take it back. It was just to highlight the difference between religious fundamentalists and libertarians. You're against the ban, just like Muslim fundamentalists are against the ban (not only, but it's them who turned this into an ideological battle), but it seems clear you oppose it with a different motivation and a different mindset, right? That's all I meant, and I do find it puzzling, because there couldn't be two more different mindset than those.
I agree with you the state is not some supernatural entity but a representative of all citizens, exactly, now where did I give the impression I consider it differently? Didn't the majority of French representatives approve this law, didn't the majority of citizens suppor it, including - funnily enough, or maybe not! - the majority of French Muslim women? That doesn't seem to me to be a case of authoritiarian imposition by some "state" that represents an elite.
But anyway. I do think that the ideal situation would be one where problems of religious identity, separation and conflict do not even arise at all. IF they arise, solutions have to be compromises. I read the report of the commission and it seems to me there are many specific, practical problems raised not by the Islamic veil itself but the demands of separation (exemption from classes, for instance) it often entails. I don't think it's fair to allow those demands to be accepted. It's not fair to the class, and to the principles state education is based on.
Private religious schools are allowed. That's what I meant with "if it's allowed" - as long as religious schools comply with certain basic standards, they can set whatever rules they like in their own environment. So can the "state" - ie. public schools funded by all taxpayers.
I do not see this ban as a magic solution, I didn't write or imply that, so I don't know what makes you assume that. It is targeted at schools, and that's where it will act. France can't prevent parents to force marriage on their girls or bring them up in a restrictive environment. It can prevent these parents, when they choose state education, force their girls to wear an Islamic veil, be separated in certain activities, be exempted from certain classes, etc.
This measure seems to be welcome by a good size in the Islamic community, as not everyone is so strict on the Islamic veil. I also think the motivations of groups like Ni Putes Ni Soumises or SOS Racisme are very sensible.
That's my idea. Separation of church and state is not my invention, and it may work differently elsewhere, but each country chooses its founding principles. Secularism does not equal fanatical secularism, not in my view. Fanatical secularism would be a ban on religion per se or heavy interference in religious matters, in religious environments. Secularism means the state preserves its neutral grounds.
I did say, "at least, that's how I see it", so, agree to disagree, and many apologies for offending your sensibilities with a strong disagreement. I am genuinely puzzled by your position, that's all. And I do feel strongly about this. I thought if comments were welcome, then disagreements were welcome too. Maybe I was wrong on that one as well.
Thanks anyway for the reply.