Following the October 7 massacre of Israeli civilians by Hamas, college campuses and streets of major US cities have been filled with rioters chanting anti-Israel slogans and often explicitly demonstrating their fealty to Hamas. As is clear from numerous photographs, most of these protestors conceal their faces.

This is true even of less violent protests. One example is the 100-plus congressional staffers who staged a walkout on Capitol Hill, calling for a ceasefire in Gaza. Photos show that nearly all the staffers were wearing medical face masks. Presumably, when defying the will of your boss, and the people who elected him or her, it’s best to remain anonymous. And the cowardice extends beyond Capitol Hill.

According to coverage from the Daily Signal, many participants at a George Washington University Vigil for the Martyrs of Palestine” covered their faces. Daily Signal Reporter Mary Margaret Olohan was given a face mask and told to wear one by the pro-Palestine participants so “they” wouldn’t identify her later in pictures.” It’s unclear who “they” is and even more unclear what the result would be of being identified, but the fact remains that pro-Palestine protesters hide behind masks.

But when looking at the history of mask bans, crime, and even France’s so-called “burqa ban,” it begins to make sense.

In response to the COVID-19 virus, many cities required that individuals cover their faces when in a building or in close proximity to other people. People disagreed over the effectiveness of this strategy, but even if these measures were justified, most people are now delighted to go back to semi-normal, maskless life. That is, except, for those protesting in favor of Hamas, a US State Department designated terror group. To understand, it helps to look at the history of masking and its connection to crime.