I’ve spent quite a bit of time in Egypt over the years. Most of it was as a kid (in the summer) and a good portion has been as an adult, as a student and otherwise.
As a result, I’ve gotten to talk with a lot of women (and men, actually) about why wearing the hijab (this applies to the niqab as well, obviously) is necessary.
These are a few of the arguments I’ve heard over the years:
1. If you don’t, then when you die, God will personally dip you by your exposed hair into a lake of fire for all of eternity. (That means God sucks and you better pack a lot of aloe in that coffin.)
2. If you don’t, then you’ll get harassed and/or raped by horny dudes. (That means men are animals, but it’s your fault and you should protect against that or else you’re a whore. Rape is asked for, don’t you know?)
3. If you don’t, then you’ll give people the impression that you deserve to be seen and heard. (That means you’re an idiot and why bother even sending you to school when you suck so badly.)
4. If you don’t, then you’ll humiliate the family. (That means that only the collective matters; what you conclude is better for you as an individual is irrelevant.)
Are there some women who like the idea of wearing the hijab? Sure. Of course. But they constitute a minority. Most are coerced; they can’t admit it. Doing so could be catastrophic in terms of the family structure, even deadly.
Oh, but there’s no compulsion in Islam. You’re Islamophobic for even suggesting there’s a fanatical strain in it at all.
As the writers of South Park would say, “YOU BASTARDS!”
Enjoy the video.