The photo at left is from Mark Steyn's latest piece, in which he bravely comes out for intolerance. (It is bravely—nothing, no matter how intolerable, is hated as much as "intolerance.")
His piece is called I'm with the 'intolerant' Quebecers | MARK STEYN: The niqab deserves no more respect than a Vader mask, [Macleans, March 25, 2010].
The photo at right is from a blog item of mine: Deconstructing Islamophobia—Who Is That Masked Woman? in which I make the same point—Islamic fundamentalists are demanding the right to appear in public wearing a mask. The Islamic face-covering costume has frequently been used by armed robbers and wanted criminals in whatever country it's been allowed in.
And if it seems unchivalrous to make a nice Arab lady who's been conditioned against showing her face in public appear without her mask, remember that as long as she's wearing the mask, you don't know if she's nice, Arab, or a lady.
One of the commonest uses of the of the burqa by terrorists is to disguise a wanted man. Maulana Mohammad Abdul Aziz Ghazi, 46, a Pakistani imam wanted for leading an insurrection, and Yassin Omar, 26, one of the London bombers, both used a burqa as a disguise. (Maulana, etc etc, was one of those people you see in old comedies who really has no business disguising himself as a woman—Daniel Pipes says "his height, demeanor, and pot belly gave him away,")Daniel Pipes writes
Burqas and niqabs also facilitate non-political criminal behavior. Unsurprisingly, favorite targets of robberies include jewelry stores (examples come from Canada, Great Britain, and India) and banks (Great Britain, Bosnia, and two 2007 attacks in Philadelphia).