SHAFAQNA– Boris Johnson has sparked anger by claiming that women wearing burkas look like letter boxes and bank robbers. His comments have been furiously condemned by Muslim leaders and Labour, with MP David Lammy branding him a ‘pound-shop Donald Trump.
The British former foreign secretary has been accused of Islamophobia after saying that Muslim women who wear burkas look like letter boxes.
The ex-Foreign Secretary attacked the dress of Muslim women in a newspaper column but he’s insisted that Britain shouldn’t join other countries in banning them in public.
Johnson has come under fire for saying that burkas make women look like “bank robbers” or “letterboxes” – but that we shouldn’t ban them, The Sun reported.
He said he was against bans on face-covering veils in public places, in his Telegraph column, but that it was “ridiculous” people chose to wear them.
“If you tell me that the burka is oppressive, then I am with you,” Johnson wrote in an article for the Daily Telegraph.
If you say that it is weird and bullying to expect women to cover their faces, then I totally agree – and I would add that I can find no scriptural authority for the practice in the Koran. “I would go further and say that it is absolutely ridiculous that people should choose to go around looking like letter boxes; and I thoroughly dislike any attempt by any – invariably male – government to encourage such demonstrations of ‘modesty’.
He said it should be acceptable to ask women to remove their burka in order to talk to them “properly”.
Johnson said businesses and government agencies should also be able to “enforce a dress code that enables their employees to interact with customers” including by allowing them to see their faces.
The Muslim Council of Britain accused him of “pandering to the far right”.
Boris Johnson is a master of the English language – he must understand exactly what effect his language will have. I find it deplorable he chose to write such an article,” he told BBC.
Government do not support a ban
Prime Minister Theresa May’s official spokesman said: “The long-standing Government position on this is clear, that we do not support a ban on the wearing of the veil in public.
Such a prescriptive approach would be not in keeping with British values of religious tolerance and gender equality, News Sky reported.
According to BBC, the imam of Finsbury Park mosque, Mohammed Mahmoud, has, meanwhile, accused the government of failing to show “meaningful engagement” with the Muslim community.
Conservative peer Baroness Warsi, the first Muslim woman to sit in a British cabinet, accused Johnson of indulging in “dog whistle” politics.
Seven countries in Europe have banned the burka
Seven countries in Europe have banned the burka and the niqab. Denmark, France, Germany, Austria and the Netherlands have said that they will fine anyone seen wearing the burka in public. Although some leaders have claimed to have banned the face veils for purposes of national security and women’s liberation, others consider it a law inspired by Islamophobia.
In Turkey, a full ban was abandoned in 2013, and now women are barred from wearing the garments if they work in the judiciary, military and police.
Chad has also banned women from wearing the face veil, stating that it was a “camouflage” worn by militants.
To look at it, the burqa is simply a veil which covers the body and face – and yet it is also sometimes associated with oppression, terrorism, and extreme religious beliefs. The passion to ban the burqa is likely linked to the idea that all Muslims are synonymous with terrorism.
According to Metro, Although Johnson argued that the burka and the niqab “were certainly not always part of Islam,” evidence points to the veils being known in areas of India, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Afghanistan since the beginning of the Muslim religion in 622 c.e.
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