FASHION - It is cultural bias that assumes that hijabs (headscarves worn by women in Muslim countries) is a shackle.
Some women (including devout feminists) make assumptions that hijabs are mandatory and a sign of their lesser status as women. But in reality these things have nothing to do with why women wear hijabs.
When wearing a hijab women are treated with more respect. Their hair (considered sexual in both western and Muslim cultures) is seen as distracting from the personality. Thus when wearing a hijab the focus becomes their face, their facial expressions and therefore their personality. Thus men behave more respectfully.
It is a cultural phenomenon in Muslim countries. Not so much a tradition or a fashion rule. Its a phenomenon which frees women to be treated as equals and is reinforced by cultural beliefs surrounding the hijab.
So ripping the hijabs off of women isn't actually freeing them. Its forcing them to embrace your own cultural beliefs... and that isn't freedom. Its abusive.
Wearing a hijab means this woman won’t have to worry about whether or not she’s fashionable or kewl. She isn't going to be part of the sexually exploited parts of culture which see beautiful hair as a sex symbol.
Instead she will be confident about herself as a person, feel treated like a person instead of like a sex object, she can focus on her career, her education and she can find a job where her pay is equal to that of a man... as opposed to wearing sexually revealing clothing and having to fight her way up a corporate ladder which sees her as a sex object instead of an intelligent and sophisticated woman.
Fashion can have a very real effect on how people are perceived. If two men apply for a job at an insurance company, one is dressed in a black suit and the other comes wearing baggy jeans, who gets the job offer?
They say "Clothes make the man." Its abundantly obvious which one will receive the most consideration. The baggy jeans man would have to have a very impressive resume and references to win that job offer.
In this case we should make a new phrase: "The Hijab makes the woman free."
I am rather tempted to start a whole new fashion trend: Feminists Wearing Hijabs! Now that is a fashion statement!