Do they really think they are fooling anybody by their opposition to the hijab? It's not because they care about women's rights - the anti-hijab people are almost all anti-feminist as Coyne has proven to be by his frequent attacks against feminism. The Right and their New Atheist sympathizers care most keenly about women's rights when it's Muslim women's rights in question, as Richard Dawkins clearly established back in 2011 with the Dear Muslima letter.
The rantings of the Right and Right-sympathizers like Coyne against the hijab, sooner or later have real-world consequences as we saw in the Portland tragedy last May. And what the rantings serve to do is turn the hijab from a symbol of oppression to a symbol of resistance to bigots and thugs of the Right and their allies who blame all Muslims for the actions of homicidal fanatics:
Do I oppose the center’s construction? No. Do I think that building it on that site is a good idea? No. It’s no better an idea than would be building an American cultural center near Ground Zero in Hiroshima. It was Islam, after all, that propelled those planes into the World Trade Center nine years ago.
It's true that the original purpose of the hijab was patriarchal control over women's bodies. But so what? That's religion for you. Hasidic women shave their heads and wear wigs for the same reason. Coyne has written about Hassids many times but if he's ever gone on a rant agains their head-shaving and wearing wigs I haven't found it on his blog. In the past month he's mentioned hijab 6 times.
Since Coyne is stupid about feminism and stupid about Islam, it stands to reason he is most stupid about them together. Here he is promoting the far-right idiocy of Prager University. Arguing that feminists excuse sexism in Islam. Because Coyne doesn't like the idea of living in a pluralistic society and expects women to behave like cranky ranting New Atheists:
Western women should stop coddling all religions that have misogynistic attributes, and those are not limited to Islam.
Coyne is truly Republican in his outlook, he really needs to stop pretending to be liberal. Democrats work by coalition. Republicans have talking points and everybody is expected to fall in line.
I dislike religion - but am I going to join religious women who are marching to oppose Trump? Hell yeah I am. And I'm sure Coyne works with religious people when it suits him - as usual misogynists have higher standards for how women should behave than they have for themselves.
Coyne gives the whole misogynist game away when he doubts that Muslim women are able to make their own choices:
Today’s Jesus and Mo strip is a good one, particularly timely, and speaks directly to the notion of the degree to which Muslim women “choose” to be covered. When a Western Muslimah (not one in Iran or Saudi) declares that she wears the hijab “by choice,” I never accept that claim at face value. Was she brought up wearing one? Did she go to school where other girls wore them? Are her friends mostly hijabis? This whole notion of “choice” in Islamic dress needs to be examined, yet I haven’t seen a single article on it. It’s the rhino in the room.
I was brought up Catholic and sent to Catholic school and told not to use birth control. I was able to decide to quit the Catholic church and use birth control. So yeah, if I can make decisions in spite of my upbringing, then I guess I can accept that Muslim women can make their own choices. Even if I don't agree with their choices.
If women are forced to wear something then yeah, we need to fight for their right to make their own decisions. Otherwise it's not our business.
Coyne is unable to understand why feminists in a pluralist society support Muslim women's rights to wear something that signifies their religion - even if the feminists in question don't agree with some of the things the religion says. In a free society we must accept some people will make personal choices we don't like. Coyne is not comfortable in such a society. Because he believes women who make choices he doesn't like are incapable of making their own choices.
Because Jerry Coyne is a bigot. And a misogynist.