"Full face covering in public should be illegal. It’s not even a requirement of Islam."
Certainly in places like schools, law courts and at security checks face-coverings should be banned. The objection has nothing to do with 'Muslim' or 'Islam', nor a culture we find alien or unpleasant. The aims are tolerance and freedom of speech and expression.
"A culture that teaches that women are such harlots that their uncovered faces will tempt men into all manner of depravity."
Resolving a question or a problem is only possible if it is correctly understood. The motivations you suggest (that women are forced or brainwashed) are only two motives. I suggest a more common motive is to attract attention. If they don't get it, they may act out in some other way. Many of the burk-uped may be British born and bred. Like wearing a ring through the nose or dying the hair purple, it is conformity they (ironically) rebel against and the attraction of a counter-culture which is the motivation.
Recent YouGov statistics suggest that the majority of the British public would be quite happy to trail behind Bulgaria’s decision, with just 25 per cent opposing a UK burqa-ban and 57 per cent in favour – although this number has decreased gradually each year since 2011, when 66 percent wanted to ban the garment.
"Zeena is 17. She lives in a bustling Islamic community on the outskirts of Leeds. She is ambitious, driven and adamant that within ten years, she’ll be a surgeon for the NHS.
She is also the first woman in her family to wear the niqab. “Yes, it represents something I believe in – but it isn’t the only thing I believe in,” she told me.
Zeena adds that she chose to wear the niqab aged 15, after a growing number of girls began to wear the traditional Islamic dress.
The last sentence suggests peer pressure is the motivation.
"There has to be no more giving in".
It isn't a question of giving in so much as of understanding. I think Zeena (quoted above) is ignorant. Why covering the face is unacceptable needs to be explained, religion or none.
The aim isn't to suppress Islam but to persuade people why such superstitions and sectarian allegiances are bad for our common community.
"..we were trying to imagine what the country would look like if everyone covered their faces? What kind of sinister, isolated world would that be?"
Exactly, very true, but an extension taken too far? The problem is with a few burka or niqab wearers, not with everyone.
Religion shouldn't be suppressed. People must be persuaded to see it for what it is - superstition, divisive and faith-based. They need to face the problems it entails.
I find people who wear balaclavas during demonstrations or because they are in a gang on a street far more objectionable. Burka-wearers aren't criminals and are free citizens like the rest of us. The trick is to get them to see that and not hide their faces thinking they make a point.