There's been a ruckus over veils in England recently. Jack Straw says he doesn't like them. So what? I donno, strange days.
People should be able to wear whatever they want, including swastikas and Che Guevara T-shirts.
That doesn't mean that organizations (including government ones) can't have dress codes. A private company should be able to ban veils if it wants, but I don't have any views about what government policy should be generally. I have reservations about teachers wearing veils though. It makes a statement about gender relations, it says, "As a man you are incapable of seeing me as a person if you see my face". Maybe that's true for some men (a lot of things are true of some men), but I think it's a dubious message to send kids. Of course veils are fine in private schools.
Steven Pinker claims that one of the reasons we have such big brains is because we got into an arms race with other humans trying to deceive each other and trying to detect deceit. Much of this involves facial expressions. We have a special bit of our brain just for recognizing human faces, nothing else. It makes sense for people feel uneasy talking to someone behind a veil, part of it is just biological.
Women who like wearing veils often say that they want to be treated by the content of their ideas not the prettiness of their face. They don't want to be objectified; fair enough, but by wearing a veil or burka you take away what makes you look human. Instead of being a sexual object, you become much more like an inanimate object, talk about objectification! But anyway, I think it's pretty weird to think that men are so sexually affected by seeing a woman's face. If this is true, maybe women really are to blame for their rape if they were wearing a short skirt or tight top.
All that said, what the hell is wrong with people not liking veils? Nobody minds if people dislike Americans.