In her latest Forbes column, Senior Analyst Shikha Dalmia defends the burqa from fellow athesists such as Christopher Hitchens who are cheering French efforts to ban it. Dalmia notes that their arguments betray more affinity than they realize with the religious tendencies that secularism is supposed to transcend:
This becomes obvious when one compares their attitude toward the burqa to that of India's secularists, few of whom would ever dream of banning it.
Why does France feel the need to do this?
It's not like burqas are a huge problem in the country. Although estimates vary, Muslims constitute less than 10% of the French population and no more than 2,000 of them sport burqas. This means most French folks can comfortably go through life without ever encountering a burqa-clad woman. By contrast, India has nearly 140 million Muslims–or 13.4% of its population–and millions of them sport burqas, making it hard to go a few days without running into one…
Read the whole thing here.