Political Promise

Should Britain Ban the Burka?

In Uncategorized on July 16, 2010 at 2:53 pm

By Jordan Childs

When the Conservative MP, Philip Hollobone called for a ban of the Niqab there must have been undoubted outrage by some liberals (ideologically speaking, not regarding the party necessarily) at an attempt to erode religious tolerance and freedom of expression. However, surely the security of the British society should be at the foreground of the debate? Maybe the most torn people in this debate would have to be the liberals, surely as they believe everyone is equal despite race, age and sex, this would also make them feminists (granted not the radical feminists of the second-wave) but what about the repressive aspect of the veil? I am by no means an expert in Islamic culture or law and so it would be unjust for me to get involved in any speculation of whether women are forced to wear them, but if this is the case, how can liberals support freedom of expression but also support the equality of women at the same time?

Disregarding this, the main crux of this debate resides upon the divisive and damaging consequences the wearing of a Niqab has upon society and the established culture. I am fully aware that Britain is a multicultural place, but the Burka is simply un-British. Would, for example, countries such as Saudi Arabia and Yemen allow an invasion of the British culture on a mass scale? No. If someone from the western world were to holiday in such a country it would simply be disrespectful, rude and damn right un-British not to respect their religious culture by having their face on full view. So why, I ask, are we allowing our culture to be imposed upon when ultimately this is a Christian (of all denominations) country. Belgium, Netherlands and France are all countries that are not letting this happen and are, or are planning to place a ban on the wearing of a Burka, so why are we too scared of being politically incorrect to follow them? When the French debated it in their parliament, the vote carried in the lower chamber, 336 votes in support of the ban, and the total number of votes against… One. Even as someone backing the ban this number is truly astonishing; maybe a reflection of modern Western views.

As yet I have not even touched upon some of the truly worrying aspects of the face veil, mainly the actual physical reality of it on others. It is simply common sense that the Burka is a barrier between cultures and against integration. Do not mistake my position for being anti-immigration; there are benefits, but one necessary condition for immigration surely has to be not to upset and damage the balance of society. In other words in order to remain united as country, integration has to happen, but the Niqab just seems a barrier to this. A majority of Briton’s feel that the Burka can be threatening and also discourages the mixing of races, as quite often communities containing woman wearing religious dress are separate from others.

In a recent survey over half of Briton’s would ban the Niqab on security grounds, especially in public areas such as banks and airports. Currently bikers have to remove their helmet upon entry to a bank as a) it is intimidating to staff behind the counter as they cannot see the person they are dealing with and b) it is impossible for CCTV to see who the person is, so in the case of a robbery the CCTV cannot be used in evidence. So why should the burka be any different? “But its completely different situation, it’s for religious reasons,” is the outcry given in response to this argument strand. Yet, here lies the problem, on what grounds can people justify workers being banned from wearing  a small cross around their neck but when it comes to the burka, be too scared to speak out in fear of being politically incorrect. A prime and truly haunting story as to the security risk is in the wake of the July 7th bombings only a few years ago. Everyone will remember the scale of devastation that gripped the country as a result of hatred and evil that day, and how did one of the bombers escape from this country, escape justice the families of the victims deserved? Of course, consealed under a burka and niqab. How can anyone justify the veil after hearing this disturbing story…

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  1. A victory for fascism in Belgium and France, a disaster for the freedoms we are supposed to uphold in Western so-called democracies. In the 1930s we had fascism against Jewish women in the street, now we have fashion fascism against Muslim women.
    Welcome back to the Nazis.
    Plus ca change………..
    Better to ban shell suits and tracksuit bottoms which are much more offensive in my opinion.

  2. Is it just the veil over the face, that all the fuss is about, or the whole garment? I was schooled by Catholic Nuns, who wore very similar garments, never bothered me.What is wrong with a bit of modesty,most European countries allow topless bathing of woman on a beach, and no -one kicks up about that.What a travesty of injustice.

  3. @chrisstevens

    A victory for fascism, ahh by this you mean it will be ok for members of the Klu Klux Klan to openly march around the streets in white robes, their faces covered to instil their message of fear.

    But you probably don’t mean this, because you have a totally blinkered view of the world. The fact that the klu klux klans chosen garb is similar to what some muslim men want their women to wear. The only difference is the fascism that is Islam hides under the guise of a religion, giving it greater protection.

    I would not want to see members of the Klu Klux Klan dressed up on British streets, neither do I want to see women either forced or brainwashed into doing the same.

    The suffragettes would turn in their graves if they could witness some of the so called womens rights brigade campaigning to have women dressed in sacks.

  4. @MarcusG
    Dear Marcus, peaceful women have the right to wear ‘sacks’ if they wish, maybe not in your world, but they do have that right in my world, and I would defend their right in the courts, and I would demonstrate for that right.
    The Klu Klux Klan argument is false, a straw dog and a red herring.
    I’m sure the KKK is covered by existing legislation against race hate.
    It’s precisely the KKK hate mentality which WANTS to ban the burka etc, so who’s side are you on? Do you support freedom of expression or do you support the repression of women’s right to choose their clothing? Your ASSUMPTION women who cover their faces are ‘brainwashed’ is palpable nonsense, plus we all have the right to choose to be brainwashed anyway if we wish (brainwashed as Christians, Jews, consumers, i-Phone 4 purchasers, sports fans, JWs, Scientologists etc etc).
    If you wish to ban ‘brainwashing’ I wish you good luck with that one! The queues for the ‘de-brainwashing’ jail would be endless………
    Singling out burkas from all the far bigger wrongs and bigger crimes and worse issues in the world is lamentable.
    Why don’t we tackle something worthwhile and important instead like poverty or unemployment or disease? Burkas don’t figure in my top 1,000 world problems I’d like to fix.
    Personally I’d ban G strings and bare butts way before burkas, and as for men in suits and ties I find them very aggressive and psychologically more intimidating than a burka.
    Don’t get me started on vicars, nuns, police and soldiers in their uniforms, how can a little old lady or a mum with kids walking to school in a burka be a quarter as intimidating as a policeman?
    People who are ‘sensitive’ or ‘allergic’ to burkas seriously need to look at themselves, their possible levels of misogyny, their possible Islamophobia, and their possible intolerance of anything ‘different’ to their own code of dress, religion or way of life.
    There should be no tolerance of intolerance or racial or religious stereotyping and discrimination, bigotry or prejudice in our society.
    Banning burkas would be part of the problem, not part of the solution, to social issues.
    If the issue is security that’s fine, they can show their faces in the bank, at an airport etc.
    If the issue is brainwashing, banning religious teaching in schools would be a good start.
    But a universal street ban??? Totally childish and irrelevant overkill.
    Give me break……….

    • Phobia = fear
      Arachnophobia = Fear of spiders. Often un-justified, but not if you have a black-widow crawling up your arm.
      Islamophobia = Fear of Islam. Often un-justified, but likewise there may be circumstances when it is justified.

    • We would love to walk down Baker Street London in the Nude- It would nodoubt turn the heads of those peeping toms, looking through their slits. It would show these people what real MEN are like.
      Yes, of course there must be a BAN this self inflicked gear or leave these shores- no-one asked you here.
      Cheers.

  5. @chrisstevens

    How on earth can you equate a man wearing a suit and tie with someone who you can’t see if they are smiling or frowning. Being brainwashed into buying a Ipod also does not really compare, it actually is quite a good phone and generally makes people want to discuss and show it off to friends. This is rather the opposite of hiding behind a small slit, depriving ones face of the breeze and sunshine.

    As for security

    The fiancee of July 21 bomber Yassin Omar was jailed for three years yesterday for helping him to escape dressed as a Muslim woman in a burka. Herald July 12 2008

    Maulana Abdul Aziz was caught wearing the burqa, an all-enveloping sheet-like dress adopted by some Muslim women. BBC 5 July 2007

    The leader of a radical mosque besieged by Pakistani security forces in Islamabad has been caught trying to escape wearing a woman’s burqa. 4 July 2007

    A male suspect in a major anti-terrorist investigation in Britain escaped capture by allegedly disguising himself as a Muslim woman dressed in a burka.

    Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the former leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq, often dressed in a burka to evade American forces hunting him. Times October 9, 2006

    • Dear Marcus,
      ‘Birdy’ who killed all those poor people in Cumbria was wearing slacks and an open shirt.
      Moat who killed Chris Brown last week was wearing jeans and an orange ‘T’.
      Your point is what? All clothing worn by previous murderers must be banned for everyone in future? Or only for Muslim murderers disguised as women?
      Good luck with that one.
      By the way, statistically far more terrorists and serial killers wear jeans than burkas. And soldiers in uniform have plenty of form as killers, so let’s ban jeans and military clothing as well.
      Better get a new wardrobe Marcus before the clothes police arrest you for terrifying people because your T-shirt reminds them of Raoul Moat and they feel threatened as you walk down the street.
      People get scared by spiders even more than by burkas, maybe we should ban spiders as well while we’re at it.
      Are you sure you’re not posting here on behalf of the Worried Well and Paranoid Front?
      Get a grip Marcus, you worry me.

  6. Look at the innate snobbery that many who claim to be on the left demonstrate regarding such issues, as above. Chrisstevens, the 1st poster, makes an outlandish statement, that this is racism in action. That Fascism has had victories in France and Belgium – get a grip man. As for your “Better to ban shell suits and tracksuit bottoms which are much more offensive in my opinion.”, why don’t you go down to the sink estate and throw stones at them then, you snob.

  7. Simply yes. The burka or the nijab should be banned.

  8. As a strong, practising, Bible believing Christian, I’d say a couple of things:

    1) Britain is far from a Christian country in the 21st century, I don’t think that factors into the equation at all

    2) Even though I am radically opposed to Islamic views, I disagree with a ban on the burkah, niqab et al. It truly saddens me that women ARE forced and brainwashed into wearing them, but I don’t think force and law are the way to go about changing it. It’s only people power and actually reaching out and showing some compassion and love to Islamic communities that leads to integration and the gradual dismantling of oppressive domestic regimes, NOT outlawing their practices.

    Also, claiming that we should ban the niqab because one of the 7/7 planners escaped under one is absurd. You could just as well say ban planes because that’s how they fled the country, or ban tarpaulins because terrorists could stash themselves away beneath them.

  9. @Crann
    OK, let’s ban Crucifixes and funny dresses for Christian clerics and England shirts at Wembley, and after that we should ban any visual items for anything we support.
    If the police think a burka is hiding a suicide bomb, let them ‘stop and search’.
    I support your right Crann to wear what you choose (as long as it’s not a shell suit of course), yet you want to ban other people wearing what they choose. Shame on you.
    As for your comment “why don’t you go down to the sink estate and throw stones at them then, you snob” I think that says a lot more about you than it does about me.
    I was joking about shell suits, I’m sorry you have a sense of humour failure.
    By the way, I am white working class, I live on a council estate in Barnet, North London, my neighbour on one side wears a shell suit, my neighbour on the other side wears a burka, and the lady in the burka not only looks better and is more respectful, she also has much better values and is a more friendly neighbour, and her children are well-behaved, unlike the little monsters who are the sad children of shell-suit-woman.
    I’m sorry if you live on a ‘sink estate’, but if you do, check out the Muslim women, they usually more law-abiding and respectful than the chavs.

  10. The burka is a difficult thing to address. Personally I’d like to see it banned, not because of islamaphobia or even security reasons. Merely because it is demeaning to islamic women. Worse still, they accept this. Do islamic men have to cover their face? No, but women have to. It is against the progress feminists have made over the years.

    You can call me what you will. I am a die hard liberal, yet I think it should be banned. It is a question of whether you choose to be liberal about religion, or women’s rights. I personally will always support the feminist side over the religous one, due to my personal beliefs on religion in general.

    And just to say, I do not find policemen threatening. The only people who should be scared of them are those who have done wrong. As for shirts and ties… I go to school every day in one, I don’t see old ladies running away in abject fear.

  11. it would be really great to be able to see the faces of these ladies so that we can respect and honor them instead of being suspicious- the veil is an over-legalistic interpretation of religious modesty which harms the reputation of Islam and of islamic women. If an Islamic lady or her husband or brothers are concerned about modesty and freedom, perhaps it would be good to encourage a way of drssing that does not invole a sexual response from people around, but still offers the would-be veil wearer and the people she interacts with the courtesy of actually seeing the face of the person with whom they are to consider their ‘neighbour’. In addition it would be very helpful in terms of muslim integration into ‘Britishness’, whatever we think that is in 2010!

  12. Yes. Britain should be clever enough to understand that women “choice” of wearing the Burka is a result of poor education and male supremacy that just end up hurting the women, the men and other captures as well.

  13. @chrisstevens

    I really can’t engage with you, clearly you are few clowns short of a circus.

    • @Marcus
      My dear chap, not at all, I am merely a few burkas short of a religion.
      Toodle pip…………… and don’t worry Marcus, the burkas are not out to get you, it’s just in your mind. Get a good night’s sleep and you’ll feel fine in the morning.
      Don’t have nightmares now.

  14. GB, It’s time to grow up, reflect and open your eyes to the myths and fairy stories of the Burka (Niqab).

    Let’s look at the various categories as to why you think the Burqa must be banned totally and why it smacks of hypocrisy and double standards and a complete over reaction to a minority of wearers.

    Before I continue, I’m in agreement that the ban should be applied on entering public buildings and airports. BUT, this is not what many viewers are advocating. They simply want to follow the French nilly willy. We followed the Americans into war and made excuses to do so, do we also now have to follow the French and find excuses and some justification for our over reaction? Are we going to find that “smoking gun” under the Burka because we did not find it in Iraq!

    Can we not for once say, hey, we’re British, and we’ve learnt from our mistakes.

    1 Safety:
    When we and the EU implemented the smoking ban, we did not legislate that smoking outside your house and on
    the street would be classified as an offence. It was banned from public buildings and transport. Many said at the time that it would not work, but, it was in fact a success. You may not like the smoke or the smell, but the argument made, was that an individual has the right to smoke in their own space providing it does no harm to anyone but themselves. In other words, we know smoking kills, but, the individual is allowed the pleasure to die, providing it’s done outside of course, That is their right. But we overlook the safety aspect of the user in this case which is far more compelling. The reason you will not even try do deny them their right to smoke is because there are more smokers than Burka wearers. You have less risk of dying from wearing the Burka than from smoking. This limited ban, made life difficult for smokers and many decided now was the time to try to give up. If the same attitude is taken with the Burka, it will also slowly die of death, just give it time, but don’t take away their fundamental right, just because you disapprove of how they look.

    Many young children were raped, abused and sexually molested by Catholic priests form all over the world but more so particularly in the west. A criminal offence. In the USA, they estimate some 3000 to 4000 priests have abused children. However, no prosecution has been brought on any priest, as you have allowed the church to administer it’s own form of punishment, which is a mild slap on the wrist. Where is the safety for the current children? Why are they still exposed? Why not ban the clergy all together from coming into contact or preaching to children? The statement from the pope at the time said that the sexual abuse of children and young people is “not only a heinous crime, but also a grave sin,” but he stopped short of calling on any bishops to resign nor did he speak of punishments for those who committed the abuse. So, what message does this send to other children caught up in this despicable event? Forget about a ban, not even detention !

    How many children have been molested by the burka robe wearer than the robe wearing priest?

    2 Security:

    Many have mentioned the 7/7 bombings in London as justification for the ban. So, why, in the USA, under 9/11, have the Americans not taken the same path. In fact, it’s been noted that the Americans do not think that the burka is a relevant issue to security They had the worst terrorist outrage in history, and are still able to think with a relatively common sense approach.

    Robbers stole nearly £40m of items from a London jewellers in what police say was Britain’s second biggest robbery. Two men with handguns threatened staff at Graff jewelers in New Bond Street on 6 August. The men had a make-up artist in London’s Covent Garden alter their facial features.
    Obviously, they did not find the Burka appropriate camouflage to carry out this crime
    And, the loot was passed onto a motorbike rider who was walking down the street with his helmet on. The police in fact went straight past him. Do we now say that all helmets must come off when walking down the road?

    One of the other biggest jewellery heists in French history happened 2 years ago, when $100 million in jewels were snatched from a Harry Winston store in Paris. At least two of the thieves were men dressed as women and wearing wigs. Obviously, the Burka was again inappropriate camouflage.

    How many of you, if you were walking down the road and came across some hoodies walking towards you on a lonely and quiet street would maybe cross the road. And how many, if you saw a Burqa wearing woman, carrying her shopping would do the same? I’ve asked this question to 8 women, and all said, well, the hoodies of course. Why, because, those are the ones you see on street corners, smoking dope and causing problems. You don’t see that with Burqa wearers.

    3 Social interaction and inclusion:

    Why do burka wearers need to be brought back into society. There are many who are quite intellectual, law abiding and choose not to be social. Not being social is not a crime in any country. That is their right. How many neighbours from hell are Burka wearers. How many Burka wearers are currently in prison, who are in need of help with social reintegration back into society. How many are serial murderers, rapists, drug dealers. It just goes to show, why we have more pregnancies, under age drinking and prisoners than any other country. And how many of these wear the Burqa? None

    Ask a severely disfigured person, why they are not social. Why they are scared to approach the public or venture out. They maybe disfigured, from the face, or the body and they are not hiding their faces, but how many of us stare at them like they are from another planet. In fact, I bet many would prefer if they did hid their faces and I would expect many of them would like to so that so they can lead normal lives without being stared at. Some of you will even look away because you can not bare the sight. Disfigured people are shunned or, at best, tolerated by society. They are not expected to socialise, marry or work and are still essentially treated as victims. And, they are normal people, who show their face and who don’t wear the Burka. Just because they do not look normal and you may not like the look of them, does that mean we should ban them too.

    4 Oppressed:

    We have heard stories of how some husbands may demand their wives wear the burka, and yes, a few may. But the vast majority wear it on their own accord and are not forced into it. But, what will happen is that the small amount of freedom that these women enjoy will be taken away, and they will not be allowed out at all. So, why make their lives worse? Surely, we should challenge the oppressor not the oppressed.

    In Iran, under the old shah, the burka was banned. Women hardly ever ventured out and if they did, they were hidden in cars or driven. When he was finally overthrown, the Burka was back with a vengeance.

    And, who better to have a say on womens rights than the very women who endured years of Taliban rule and were forced to wear the burqa.

    1 Leading afghan lawmaker Shinkai Karokhail finds it as appalling as being forced to wear a burqa is a law banning it. Karokhail is one of many Afghan women who see a double standard in efforts by some European nations to outlaw face veils and burqas — a move they say restricts a Muslim woman’s choice in countries that otherwise make a fuss about personal rights. “Otherwise, what is the difference between forcing women to wear a burqa and forcing them not to? It is discrimination.”

    2 Shukriya Ahmadi, a 35-year-old Afghan government employee, has ditched the burqa since the days of being forced to wear it during Taliban rule. Still, she has only scorn for Western governments seeking to outlaw them
    “This shows they use democracy, freedom of religion and human rights issues only when it suits their purposes,” Ahmadi said.

    3 University student Farida, 20, is another Afghan woman who says the move smacks of a double standards.
    “I have never worn a burqa and do not like it,” she said. “But why would the West, which calls itself a supporter of democracy take such a decision? I am perplexed and sad.”

    4 Even one of Afghanistan’s most outspoken and controversial women, former lawmaker Malalai Joya, is a staunch opponent of efforts to ban burqas or tight headscarves called hijabs. “As much as I am against imposing the hijab on women, I am also against its total ban. It should be regarded a personal matter of every human being and it should be up to women if they prefer to wear it or not,” she told Reuters by email.
    “It is against the very basic element of democracy to restrict a human being from wearing the clothes of his/her choice. These governments better punish those men who force women to wear hijab, but if any woman wears it out of her own wish, there should be no ban on it.”

    Our soldiers (and the French in Afghanistan) are dying in Iraq and Afghanistan every day. They are fighting for freedom, democracy, liberty and freedom of religion and expression. However, you are happy to allow the burka to be written into law unchallenged in these countries. In fact, the government of Afghanistan issued a law stating that women must have intercourse with their husbands every fourth day and can not go out with out the permission of the husband. The new final draft of the legislation also grants guardianship of children exclusively to their fathers and grandfathers, and requires women to get permission from their husbands to work. When challenged, the government found nothing wrong with the legislation.

    So, it’s ok to have legislation like this on foreign soil but not ok on your own. So, what did you spill all this blood for?
    Because you could not change the Taliban laws while occupying the countries there, you chose to do it here, where it’s easier and really not needed.
    Bravo

    • A rather lengthy piece, you certainly wanted to get your point across. But never the less interesting comparisons and analogies. After reading your blog, it has swayed my opinion somewhat. Your arguments are well laid out. We have certainly been let down by the church & I could not agree with you more, myself being a practicising catholic. They are after all, just people in robes as you quite rightly pointed out. It is what’s inside that counts & not what’s on the outside. That is the essence of our faith.

  15. Riz, hi it’s Charlie, editor of the blog here. Thanks for taking the time to comment (thanks to everyone who has contributed to a really thought-provoking debate)

    You make a few assumptions which a lot of people do. This argument is far more black and white than you try to make it. Firstly, this has nothing to do with religion. Secondly, this is not an attack on the religion or the people of Islam. You are completely on the defensive, when the use of such an arcane, humiliating and dehumanising headwear on women is a step forward in the progression of the human race. Finally, we are arguing whether the burqa should be banned in public in Britain. Not the US, not Europe and certainly not in Islamic countries.

    One point that is always missed, and I would quite like you to answer, is that the Burqa is not compatible with Western civilisation. It is a statement that says ‘I am different to the people of Britain’, it is separationist and it does not break down any barriers. While British people damn right should be respectful to your culture (the permission of building mosques, religious education in schools for example) you must also be respectful of our culture. And in British culture, it is not seen right to cover your face, as a fashion, let alone as an enforced rule that discriminates by sex. Where is the respect for fellow Britons in wearing these garments? As an immigrant, a newcomer to a foreign country, you must respect the values and traditions of that society. What would happen if I turned up in France and demanded to be spoken to in English? Look at the couple who were jailed for kissing in public in the UAE, you must behave by the rules of the society you are currently in. By defending the burqa or the niqab, it is an affront to British society. A tolerant, liberal society that took you in. Whether seeking refuge from a dangerous country, whether to find employment, or maybe to enjoy Britain’s notoriously good weather, Britain took you in. Please play by our rules.

    Charlie

    • @Charlie

      Hi Charlie, hope you and your family are in good health, and of course to the rest of the readers the same.

      Thanks for your reply and your comments. I know that you may not think that this is an attack on the religion, but as you know, many will and do.
      First, I was born in the UK. I did not come here. I consider myself British, born and bred.
      I could not agree with you more, at the tolerance of our society and the liberal attitude of the British people in general.

      The Burka is not just incompatible with western civilisation, it is also not compatible with many Muslims. How some read and interpret the Quran may not be the way others do or the way others are taught. I personally think that the Burka is ridiculous and my kids call them ghosts, but now have accepted them as friendly ghosts:-)

      Reference :
      It’s true that the the Quran is explicit in that there is no requirement for the Burka. It is from the Hadith, a collection of the words and deeds of prophet and or of his tacit approval of something said or done in his presence. These Hadith are regarded by traditional Islamic schools of jurisprudence as important tools for understanding the Qur’an and in matters of jurisprudence. They are the main source of conflict between those that simply follow the Quran, and those that also follow the Hadith. However, the Quran specifically states that no other book should be read in conjunction with it’s text. However, many also follow the Hadith and it so widely misinterpreted, that some are considered as weak Hadiths. Many extremists manipulate the meaning and translate these towards their own viewpoint.
      So, it is in some respect a religion of it’s own and this is why you have so many variations of the religion. And, it is with this we have the Burka wearers.

      Now back to the main point.

      You stated :”What would happen if I turned up in France and demanded to be spoken to in English”?
      It’s simple Charlie, you would not get a reply. But, you would not be fined and forced to learn French would you. That’s your choice. You will just come back and decide, either to learn French or go somewhere else and try your luck. That’s freedom of choice.

      “Look at the couple who were jailed for kissing in public in the UAE, you must behave by the rules of the society you are currently in”.
      You are quite right, but you know the rules when you enter that country. It’s not for me, but the couple didn’t go there to just kiss and cuddle, they went there for the money, the tax free status and maybe the sun. It’s what you will put up with for the extra money. There’s a trade off. Some go and work in Iraq, but they know the dangers before they go.

      Now, you keep mentioning, if I went there, here and everywhere, you would have to accept the rules on arrival of that country. Of course you would. But, then, why do you allow these women to enter wearing the burka, then say half way through their stay, why are you wearing it? The fact that you let them in wearing it shows your acceptance. You wouldn’t go to the UAE and go through immigration kissing, be allowed to enter, then when you kiss again in the country, be told, why are you kissing? You’d think, hey, but it was ok when I came through kissing !

      Now, black and white is this…freedom of choice. Forget the religion, forget the fashion, forget everything. It’s freedom to wear some silly clothing, by a few nutters. And, if that’s what they want, so what?

      Oh, yes, I forgot, but “it is separationist and it does not break down any barriers”

      So, why do you have faith schools, which do nothing to break down barriers? Critics said that faith would be used by religious groups to proselytise and further segregate members of faith communities. Faith schools are discriminatory, both in their entry requirements and in their choice of staff. They select children on the grounds of their parents’ religion and have a quota system for children of other backgrounds and prefer teachers who share the school’s religious identity. If we live in a country with a such a diversity of ethnicities and a diversity of views, then our schools should surely reflect that. Some faith schools allow girls to wear the Burka or Hijab at a very young age.

      Last year, representatives of the Anglican and Catholic churches and Jewish, Muslim, Hindu and Sikh faiths signed a letter stating that banning selection of pupils by faith in religious schools would be “perverse and unjust”. But, if we had religious group having their own schools, what do you think will be the social consequences later on in the years to come. Faith schools don’t even link with other schools but with schools abroad if they can not find any compatible near by.

      For example, The Muntada al-Islami Trust, which owns al-Muntada Islamic primary school in Parsons Green, west London, was exposed as seeing ‘its mission as propagating a Wahhabist version of Islam.’

      Similarly, the King Fahd Academy in Acton, west London, is Saudi-funded and influenced by the fundamentalist Wahhabi version of Islam and it’s 600 primary and secondary school children follow a SAUDI CURRICULUM.

      We should have one curriculum, and one type of school. The only exception would be single sex schools.

      kind regards
      Riz

  16. An interesting point about integration into society. In this country it was once deemed unacceptable to enter a building wearing a hat. One is required to remove it. Naturally this applies less now that fewer of us wear hats. However, this can be transferred onto helmets, hoods and burkas. Most shops require you to remove a hood if you enter (and there are stories of 3 year old children being forced out for not doing so!) and by law you must remove your helmet. Why not something that covers your face entirely? I see it as much a matter of politeness as anything.

    Charlies point about the couple is very interesting, mostly because my sister knew them, and was worried sick. If the UAE does not allow people to express natural feelings, why can we not impose that people remove an unnatural garment? (as a side note, the whole fiasco evolved from a woman being ‘offended’ by their actions. PC might be extreme in our country, but people aren’t being arrested for it)

    “In Iran, under the old shah, the burka was banned. Women hardly ever ventured out and if they did, they were hidden in cars or driven. When he was finally overthrown, the Burka was back with a vengeance”

    And why is this? I will make an educated guess (I profess to not knowing every fact). It is down to their culture, which enforces an idea of subservience in women. After all, aren’t only husbands allowed to see their wives in the full? The banishment of the burka led to a natural response: other ways to keep an ingrained ‘modesty’. If there was a cultural norm in this country that all women had to cover their wrists, and then the PM banned sleeves, women would walk around with their hands in deep pockets.

    I must admit that due to my generally anti-religious stance, the burka and other such garments seem useless, oppressive and/or dangerous (not necessarily all at the same time). I would ask that someone produce the exact order in the Koran that forces women to wear a burka.

  17. I am muslim and know that the burqa has no place in british society.. it is for these very extremist views that I choose to live in this free and democratic country..

    Face covering has been worn by many men and women in parts of arabia/sahara to protect face from sand… It is also part of some cultures… but these “nijas” that we see on the street of britains streets are a new wave of wahabbi extremist coming from Saudi… THIS SHOULD BE STOPPED.

    I fully support the banning of burqa in British society.

    Open minded and moderate muslims will understand why, only the extremists will oppose it… If you want to live such an Islamic life away from the kuffar and idolatorers.. then go live in Saudi/Yemen and see if you can claim your benefits there.. Touche!

    Wasalaam Amina

  18. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-10679512

    a very interesting point by the imam near the start of this clip saying there is nothing in the quran about wearing it.

  19. i don’t know that wat is the problem in fallowing ur own culture?

  20. Well done brave Wasalaam Amina, your thinking well outside the box, especially seeing that you are a Muslim. Jesus says ‘ i am the way the truth and the light’ – if we can actually see each other, we are nearer to living in the light.

    • and what about your thinking outside the scriptures:

      Homosexuals or “same sex partners” are allowed now to marry and have the same rights as a married couple. Some have even been married in church. What does the bible say about this :

      Lev. 18:22, “You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.”1

      Lev. 20:13, “If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. Their bloodguiltness is upon them”

      1 Cor. 6:9-10, “Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God.”

      So, I suppose now, if you saw 2 males embraced and kissing each other, what do you tell your children?
      AND, if your children saw a woman in a Burka, what do you tell your children?

      You will find a way to explain it somehow.

      AND FINALLY: And, what would you rather your children saw?

      So Amina, I suppose you fully support gay marriages too?
      Would you vote for it?

      Does this law make you nearer to living in the light?

      I have nothing against the fact that homosexuals can marry in the UK. If this is what freedom of religion and expression is, so be it. I will support it, even though it is against my belief and values. They have the right to do and live the way they like.

      • What does the Bible say about the wearing of the Burka advise me please

  21. Why is it that it is alaways the converts and particularly the BLACK converts that take things to extreme!!! These people seem to be bored and are looking for anything to get attention; it is like they are looking for their 5 minute fame. It seems that to many Black converts Islam has become a way of opposing racism and it is very sad that they have to do that. They have their African roots and do not need to follow Arab idiology. Do they think that Arabs have a higher status than Africans because they are associated with Oil and wealth? It is easy for these girls go around in their full Islamic clothing while living in the heart of europe! they want to have the best of both words: getting hand-outs from both cultures! We can not see these women and do not know what they are up to; is this a way of not recognising them when they go clubbing or pole dancing to selling themselves to prostitution!? We just don’t know. And then there are another group that think now that they are in full so-called Islamic covering, they are holier than the “HOLY” and better than anyone else.
    The fact of the matter is “don’t cover yourself because you can not control your men to withold their sexual desires, educate your children from the early age and stop being ignorant”. I now see the sexualisation of young girls mainly from Somalia(god knows why they come to Europe if they feel so strongly about their religen,i thought Somalia was a Islamic state!!) who are forced to wear a head scarf as young as 5 years old!! Why not cut their hair and make them look like boys so there will be no sexual differences!!

  22. 1) Western goverments pander to Saudia Arabia and other gulf states for oil and arms sales and are quite happy to have the wives of these sheiks come to the UK and france in burkas.
    It’s not the goverments that highlight most human rights abuses but human rights organisations less they fall out of favour when it comes to trade.
    2) The countries that you have liberated, Iraq and Afganistan still promote the Burka. They are not banned at all. So, what did you liberate?
    3) oh, yes, FRANCE. The country that is taking the mral and pressive stand for french values. When france occupied much of North Africa, Algeria’s status was revoked as a colony and declared an integral part of France. It was a crime to say that Ageria was not a part of france. In fact, the French public believed that it was an extension of france. If that is the case, then why was the Burka not banned then? When did french values come into play? A country that was happy to invade with an army of 400.000 troops, could not impose a ban? A country that was happy to kill many innoccent algerians ( nearly 5000,000 died) if they simply voices their objections to french rule? Where were the french values then? And, it is the same with the British during the British Empire.
    Why does Amnest International, that fights for Human Rights accross the world argue: “Amnesty regrets obviously that this law has been passed, and even more so that is has been passed with such an overwhelming majority of votes in the French lower chamber, because we believe that this is a law that will violate the rights to freedom of expression and freedom of religion of Muslim women who freely choose to wear full face veils.”

    So, if you think the Burka is oppressive, when was it ever bought up that in saudia arabia where women must wear it and women cannot drive. Why do you do business with them?

  23. Why do they do business with France Belgium and us hwo aoppose it? Have you heard of the 2 way thing? The Burka is Antideluvian

  24. We are finding that it is younger women that are wearing the face veil and the trend is growing. Why have we got 2nd and 3rd generation kids wearing them.
    Why do we have faith schools at all?
    Do they not segregate our young according to religion?
    How will they mix and at what age with other faiths?
    That’s where you should start first. Young boys and girls are being primed to accept this at an early age. Many Islamic faith schools allow young girls to wear the hijab and some even wear the full Niqab. All children should be banned from wearing them until age of 18 and not in allowed to wear them in any public buildings etc.
    How did we manage smoking, by making them aware of the hazards and benefits and then introduce a partial ban, with no smoking for under age kids. The reason that you have a new generation of wearers is because you failed to educate them at school and let then attend faith schools. You need to tackle the issue at this young age in order to avoid future problems. We seem to think that by eliminating the burka by banning it will stop all future cases but allow their young minds still to be brainwashed because it is the right religious thing to do. We are tackling this from the top down, when it should be fromthe bottom up. Ban faith schools or regulate them if you want social cohesion & integration.

    For example, we have a high number of single mothers in the UK. Many were identified as getting pregnant or having abortions whilst under age. You did not say to these mothers, we will take your babies away from you.
    You started a sex education programme in schools to tackle it form the root rather than try to tackle it when it is too late. It’s about education and personal development of the child. FOR EVERY WOMAN THAT WANTS TO WEAR A BURKA, THERE IS A MAN WITH THE SAME RELIGIOUS BELIEF. A programme in schools would also therefore target the very men who think it is right. So, why do you have faith schools, which do nothing to break down barriers? Critics said that faith would be used by religious groups to proselytise and further segregate members of faith communities. Faith schools are discriminatory, both in their entry requirements and in their choice of staff. They select children on the grounds of their parents’ religion and have a quota system for children of other backgrounds and prefer teachers who share the school’s religious identity. If we live in a country with a such a diversity of ethnicities and a diversity of views, then our schools should surely reflect that. Some faith schools allow girls to wear the Burka or Hijab at a very young age. WHY?
    Last year, representatives of the Anglican and Catholic churches and Jewish, Muslim, Hindu and Sikh faiths signed a letter stating that banning selection of pupils by faith in religious schools would be “perverse and unjust”. But, if we had every religious group having their own schools, what do you think will be the social consequences later on in the years to come.
    For example, The Muntada al-Islami Trust, which owns al-Muntada Islamic primary school in Parsons Green, west London, was exposed as seeing ‘its mission as propagating a Wahhabist version of Islam.’
    Similarly, the King Fahd Academy in Acton, west London, is Saudi-funded and influenced by the fundamentalist Wahhabi version of Islam and it’s 600 primary and secondary school children follow a SAUDI CURRICULUM.
    You have allowed a Saudia Curriculum into the UK, but are banning the burka, surely, you should be tackling this from the opposite direction so youngsters are taught at an early age.
    You started sex education early in schools to prevent pregnancies and banned under age sex. You didn’t ask adults to take sex education lessons. You expect them to make an informed decision.

  25. There are many reason’s why these women wear Islamic coverings by so-called choice.
    If I change the subject for a moment and bring you to the survey that says there are more Asian students at universities than any other races and I tell you why because I was at a university with a high population of Asian girls and they used to tell me that this is they only way they can get away from their parents and relatives and they always used to say that I am lucky I have no family in Britain to check on me(by the way I am from middle east originally). And I tell you they all had middle class white boyfriends and were on pill. So as you can see one of reasons that they want to wear the Islamic covering is because they want to be left alone by their relatives; They might be in Europe but they are still surrounded by their suppressive values. I am sure you see girls wearing the head covering yet they have 3inch make-up with Cleopatra eyes and red lipsticks that is morwe prominent than a baboons back side, wearing skinny jeans and designer sunglasses on top of their scarf; and you can’t say anything because they come up with the comment:”I am good Muslim”!!!!!
    For some other Asians living in UK, Islam has become a weapon against years of White Supremist Racism and name callings such as “PAKIS” etc. This is their way of back-lash against racism. They dont call themselves Pakistani or Bengali anymore they are now Muslims (they themselves seem to be ashamed of their own cultural background and have unified themselves with religen).

    • I find your explanation ridiculous. If these women are at University in the first place, then they have been given the freedom to learn and mix with other sexes. I cannot see many elders who have extremist views sending their daughters in the first place. They know, that they may well take of the hijab or burka. Just because a woman wears makeup under her hijab or burka does not mean she is still being forced to wear it. I know many muslim women also and of course everyone goes through their teen life experimenting. But many are still choosing to wear later in life and 25% are converts. So, if all these girls are on the pill, then you must be one of the men who is having sex with them? If you are not, then take a moment to reflect. Why all girls and not all men? You can’t assume that because you know a few women or just one, that the whole world is doing the same. My sister in law put the hijab on, but took it off of her won choice. And she did it when she was 37. Why? She was born here. My brother did not tell her too. She in intelligent and intellectual. It was what she wanted to do. If you grow a beard, does that mean you are a holy man or maybe it’s because you couldn’t find a razor blade or maybe you thought it looked cool and designer. Whatever the reason, who are you to dictate what is right and what is wrong.

  26. Dear Riz,
    I don’t know whether you are born in Britain, I gather that you have! Please let me know. It is very easy for British born Muslims to go around and try to show they are good Muslims!! because they have the freedom of doing whatever they want and later go clubbing or watch perhaps an explicit video.
    These people do not understand the extend of “repression and depression” that exists in the Islamic countries. And these British Muslims have become the “Flag barer of Islam” and have their own intrepretation of Islam and you constantly hear from them that neither of those Islamic contries follow proper Islamic rules eg Iran or Saudi Arabia. So who lays down the proper Islamic Laws: you who live in the west?! May I remind you that Isalm was born in Saudi Arabia.
    Going back to why these British girls are starting to cover up:How many cases of Honour killing do you hear of in the Uk?
    Yes my dear Riz, Some of these girls are scared! as I said before they might be living in the heart of Europe but unfortunately so do they relatives who come from remote villages and only know the rule of land.
    I think I need to let you know why Islam says that women need to cover their hair: Hair is your crowning glory and very attractive when it is styled, wearing a scarf/hejab will distract attation from the hair and hence you. So tell me why wear a Hejab and then a 3 inch make up and a massive broach on top of your scarf and god knows what else.
    I think the same law should be applied for men and they need to cover up too.
    The fact of the matter remains that these women instead of trying to be a good Muslim by just wearing some sort of cloth need to educate their men and their children and not letting the next generation thinking that women are inferior to men and are sexual objects! Another simple solution is to have them all shaving their heads!

  27. At which poing people start claiming that Catholics aren’t Christian….

  28. My mind boggles at the sight of people who are either too ignorant or too stubborn to see the obvious, and quite frankly ludicrous claims that people are making in defense of the burka. The comparisons being made on the most part are absurd and simply false.
    Personally, I agree with the article in the sense that Britain is a Christian country, I am certainly not saying I support this in fact I think secular Britain would be a lot better for everyone, and therefore it must be understood that it is simply an ideological and religious difference. It is NOT a suppression of the rights or free will of Muslims, there are cases where women are forced to wear the burka by their husbands, not all the time but some of the time, and if personally if I knew that in allowing this ban I could help relieve some people of distress and discomfort in wearing the burka, then I would support it. On that reason alone I would support it.

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