Secularists have nothing to fear from women wearing headscarves

“Secularism, a cherished principle with as many believers as non-believers, does not – should not – preclude the assertion of religious identity. It is a robust enough idea to hold the ring, as a secular state has done in the deeply religious US and India. Secularism can accommodate religious identity, as Turkey is showing by modifying Ataturk’s authoritarian secularism. What remains to be seen across western Europe is whether secularism is hijacked by a racist far right to become a rallying cry, or whether it can find its own way to adapt and modify its traditions to new identities.”

Madeleine Bunting in the Guardian, 25 February 2008