TIME takes on French "secular fundamentalism"
This story from TIME is a nice look at the changing tone of secularism in France, which I think is a very under-reported story.
This story makes the argument that secularists in France are developing a "fundamentalist" orientation that is an important departure from the historical intentions of "laïcité". The reporter starts out calling the new secularism "militant", which is probably where he should have left it:
Whereas secularism — or laïcité — traditionally sought to create a wall between religious expression and the public domain, critics claim its defenders have become far more militant . . . France's secularists, who dominate public life and debate, are exhibiting a quasi-evangelical zeal in imposing the values of laïcité on the private observance of religious minorities, particularly Muslims.
"Now we frequently see secularists urging the state to intervene in the private religious affairs or practices of people or organizations . . . Increasingly, secularity resembles what Jean-Jacques Rousseau called a 'civil religion': the values and dogma of a state that individual citizens must submit to — or be made to respect."