It is this debate that secularists, both religious and otherwise, are fighting for. The movement doesn't aim to destroy or dismantle religion, but to create a society where no one group is granted special privilege or power. A society which ensures that all beliefs are protected and welcomed equally. But this debate can only be had once you stop using "secularism" as a slur.
If the accusation is that the banning of the niqab goes against religious freedom, the foremost question must be whether the niqab itself has any kind of theological basis. Until now there has been no compelling evidence to suggest that it has, and this is what appears to have got lost in the debate.
It's unfair to tar all r/atheism subscribers with the same brush. Perhaps now, with less visibility, the section will start the long road of rehabilitation toward becoming a welcoming, discussion of atheism for atheists. In truth, many of the noisiest members - much like in religion - are the ones that get the most attention, and the ones that least represent the majority of the community.
Cultural diversity has played a key role in forming the multicultural Britain of today, far more so than adherence to one set of 'national values' has. The role of the state is to enforce this tolerance through laws and expose children to the true diversity of the world they are entering in the education system.
It's important to recognise the diverse backgrounds that constitute our national cultures in contemporary society. As Mark Hammond of the Equality and Human Rights Commission writes, "It is indisputable that Britain has benefited for centuries from its own Muslim heritage. There is much more to be gained from the sharing of culture and art, humour and humility."