There is a valid reason for the burqa, according to the women who don them.
The reason is that it makes life less complicated for them. They are less likely to be hit on (attempts at usurping their marriage are less likely) and competition between females is moved from who has the better body to who has the better ability.
Not that I condone or condemn either way. I'm of the opinion that if they want to wear the shit, they should be able to. It's not hurting me one way or the other and frankly, I enjoy the idea that the FBI has to actually work to earn their pay. I don't see how it's doing any more damage to anyone else's way of life than - say - the american obsession with porn.
I have spoken at length with women who dress accordingly and they all say the same things: it simplifies things and it creates a less-dramatic life for them. What or who are they really hurting? Seriously. If these women want to be ultra-conservative and they want to be 1830's about their life, why stop them?
I can see their point and I personally feel that they should have the right to dress how they want just like any tart on garrison avenue has the right to wear clothes that leave absolutely NOTHING to the imagination. Why are we bitching about this? It's fuckin' clothes, people. Nothing more, nothing less. You can't really rally around the right to let one's tits hang out without also acknowledging one's rights to cover them up.