There is a good essay on the subject here at the BBC.
Here are some parts:
France is not the only Western country to insist on the separation of church and state - but it does so more militantly than any other... In the 1960s and 1970s, mass immigration from former north African colonies brought a new challenge.
Many of these older migrants are now shocked to see their children adopt conservative Islamic practices, and are at the forefront of moves to ban headscarves from schools...
So France seems to be trying to step back from secularism. They may once again allow niqabs and crosses to be displayed and worn in schools.
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May 27, 2019 0:49:07 GMT