Ikram makes the following interesting argument regarding the French government’s decision to ban Muslim headscarves: “Why do those who wish to promote religious coercion target women first?” He’s thinking in terms of Christian fundamentalists whose first target is invariably women’s morality, sexuality and income-earning. In these contexts it makes sense, and there’s certainly something to it in the French case, where the concern is the hijab and women refusing to be examined by male doctors.
But the counter-example is indicated in the post’s comments: Sikh men, who, in Canada, have been a target of racism when their turbans have gotten in the way of certain Canadians’ sensibilities.
Ikram also goes on to argue that the end result will be to remove Muslim girls from school, an end result to warm the cockles of a Taliban heart. But I think it will mean that Muslim girls will end up in private religious schools instead, and end up less integrated into French secular society, rather than more, which defeats the government’s intent.