I don't know much about the situation in France, but back home in Canada the issue is not that there are "un-Canadian" peoples amongst us, but that some of them demand special treatments and reforms to common sense rules and laws.tobes wrote: I think the problem of assimilation is strongly connected to the problem of robust nationalism.....of precisely the kind emphasised by Ole. Once "French" is defined reductively in terms of uniform culture, anything other to it is immediately rejected as unFrench.
One example is demanding that a public swimming pool segregate boys and girls and have designated swimming times for each. There are also some people in Canada calling for the state to recognize Sharia law and courts as a special judiciary for the Muslim community. That would essentially mean that part of the authority of civil courts would be transmitted to a non-government religious organization.
Objecting to such ideas has nothing to do with "robust nationalism".
It isn't about speaking a different language, wearing foreign garb or having a different religion. Problems and friction in society arise when minorities start demanding preferential treatment and rights.The identifications people make to nation-states are constructed and without substance: Buddhists should be well aware of these processes, and the dangers they contain.