Hijab shouldn't be just treated as a part of the culture without thinking and we should not automatically glorify it as diversity. The very fact that it is forced in Iran, for example, tells us that it's not simply a matter of choice and culture.
Forbidding things or telling people what to wear is not the solution and it's not what progressives do. And IMO, EU court ruling allowing bans on all religious symbols didn't do that.
This ban is in a way also a protection, either all religious symbols are banned or none, so hijab cannot be singled out. In a way, it’s also all-or-nothing ban. Either you ban all religious symbols or none.
I digress. The point is that in fact, turning a blind eye to suffering and comforting yourself that it's simply a cultural thing is also not what progressives should do.
So in thinking about hijab, we should not lose the sight of the question - is it really their culture or is it simply the case of winners writing history and making the rules to protect themselves and their interests?
Yes, potentially I agree, there shouldn't be laws about how to dress or not to dress, but with that said, nothing should be immune to criticism. The Catholic church is subject to criticism regarding priests and children. Hinduism for supporting the caste system ... Islam should not be the only thing immune to criticism, that's all that's being said.
But, of course, some people will simply ignore this point out of fear to be labeled a racist, while actually, as was argued before, as you do not apply the same standard to people who have brown skin as to people who have white skin, under pretense that you’re not racist, you’re actually exhibiting “racism of low expectations”, as argued brilliantly by activist and author Maajid Nawaz.
I really can't believe this huge number of people think that wearing hijab automatically means a woman is just showing her culture or being empowered. By assuming this you are doing a great disservice to women around the world who do not have a choice.
Out of respect for the human intellect, we should not be afraid of asking questions and a dialogue. This is how society moves forward.