Just a quick final thought on Burqabangate.
A lot of people have seemed to propose that no woman would ever wear a burqa voluntarily. I think this is an odd theory for a number of reasons.
First of all, having looked at past societies both home and abroad, I am comfortable in the knowledge that a huge number of people have held a huge variety of bizarre beliefs throughout the ages. Wearing a burqa is pretty weird, but its no weirder than thinking a tobacco smoke enema will revive a victim of drowning or that slavery can be justified or that Jewish men menstruated.
Secondly, adherents of political Islam have a number of other even more bizarre practices for which we need no further verification; suicide bombing for example.
To what extent someone can be said to be truly free when they are in thrall to an ideology which they think obligates them to either cover up or blow up their bodies is a matter for debate.
But on a broad reading of freedom of action, I don’t think wearing the burqa is one of the weirdest practices in which people have engaged.