France, that beacon of enlightenment, has decided to oppress it's religious minorities, and they aren't happy about it. The upcoming ban on religious attire in schools is a striking example of how weak France's democracy really is.

The protesters want to scrap a bill that will go before French lawmakers next month forbidding "conspicuous" religious signs, from Islamic head scarves to Jewish skull caps and large Christian crosses, in public schools. Easy passage is expected, and the law is to become applicable with the new school year in September. ...

Critics of the law claim it will stigmatize France's Muslims. French authorities contend the principle of secularism is meant to make everybody equal.

It's not about equality (what's unequal about people wearing different types of clothes, or being different religions?), it's about conformity. Diversity (in thought and belief) can certainly cause instability in a country, but strong democracies can absorb the waves without incurring much damage. Is France's body politic so fragile that it can't handle religious freedom anymore? Do little girls threaten the republic by wearing scarves to school?



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