"The argument that criminals could abuse the niqab is not compelling enough to deny the fundamental freedom of religious expression to a group of French citizens"This is an excellent point (among many in the short opinion piece). How can the secular state claim to be all in favor of human rights, then forbid a right - all the while claiming it is to "protect people's rights".
As the author rightly says:
"And the irony and hypocrisy of claiming the ban protects women from oppression is glaring: Freedom must be 'protected' by denying women their freedom to choose how to dress."The underlying problem is that secularism has no foundation, it is adrift in the sea of ideas. They want to assert some things are "right" (correct) and other things are "wrong". At the same time, they have no standard for right and wrong - so it must be "anything goes" (at least, anything the majority can agree on).
Of course, the majority is currently against a takeover by Islam. But anyone can run the numbers, and see that soon the majority will be a minority...