I am not sure which to chose as the leading point of perspective for the dissection of this jewel of a comment (taken from Twitter a day after the UK-riots of the summer 2011). Should it be 'class war', 'racism', 'the active encouragement of a control state' or a simple 'What side are you on?' as a question of principle?Unable to attend to all of it in what is set out to be a brief post, I feel I may today settle for 'Xenophobia', which is here so distinctively materialised through pieces of cloth.
From Greek ξένος 'strange' and φόβος 'fear' most will know that it bluntly translates into the 'fear of foreigners'. But I think there is so much more to it...
You could look at this fear passively as something that is evoked without guilt..i.e. 'what I see is strange to me and I therefore lack trust in you and/or the situation'. You could go even further and discuss this fear less as an objective fear of 'the foreign' but as a subjective one that is evoked in yourself through the realisation of your own distinction, your own 'otherness' to what you are confronted with, which then may leave you feeling uncomfortable.
Be that as it may, what is so dangerous is indeed the fact that this fear readily serves to justify unjust (racist/classist) action.
You may argue rightly that the reasons for the covering of faces for Muslim women are distinctly different from those of UK (less privileged?) teenage boys (and girls)...
Set aside any sartorial signs, what remains an emotional similarity still, is that by being marginalised in the first place this fear for both may become a suspicion and eventually turn into denial..
...a denial of identification with what is presented to you as normal - covering up then is both a statement an a measure.
I don't always want to show my face.