Charles at Little Green Footballs links to "The Veil Controversy" in the Weekly Standard revealing that 77% of French Muslim women feel coerced to cover:
But what Islamists use most is intimidation. A survey conducted in France in May 2003 found that 77 percent of girls wearing the hijab said they did so because of physical threats from Islamist groups.This is in France. Not Afghanistan, not Iraq, not Iran, not Saudia Arabia.
My problem with this problem is that in Western countries there is supposedly a rule of law. No citizen is allowed (in theory) to bully, extort, blackmail, harass, stalk, or otherwise intimidate another citizen to threaten them into a certain behavior. Is it any wonder the Italian Mafia are relics of this insane thinking?
Covering the female is symbolic. It is an outward manifestation of the impotent male's insecurity and need to dominate. For a man without a job, no self-respect and a religious system that encourages primitive expressions of control, the hijab is the perfect instrument to meet his needs.
In light of this, wearing the hijab may or may not be a manifestation of the free exercise of religion. For any individual, it may reflect the very opposite—religious coercion. In fact, millions of women are forced to wear the veil for fear of physical retribution. And the fear is well founded. According to Cheryl Benard of RAND, every year hundreds of women in Pakistan and Afghanistan alone are killed, have acid thrown in their faces, or are otherwise maimed by male fanatics.
Given the Islamists’ ferocious determination on this point, it is worth asking: Why exactly is covering the female so important to them?