Tuesday 12 April 2011

Banning the Burqa

From a report in The Independent:-
"The prospect of any attempt to ban the Islamic full veil in public in Britain has been firmly ruled out by Theresa May, the Home Secretary.

Ministers believe there is little pressure, either politically or among the public, for the UK to follow the French lead and outlaw the use of face-covering veils such as the niqab or burka.

Although David Cameron has warned of "different cultures" being encouraged by "state multiculturalism" to live separate lives, the Government is adamant that to impose a ban on the veil would run contrary to British instincts. Calls for a ban have been limited so far to one Tory MP, Philip Hollobone, and the UK Independence Party. Mr Hollobone attempted last year to champion a Commons bill outlawing face coverings, but received no public declarations of support from any other MP.
The Home Office said yesterday: "It is not for government to say what people can and cannot wear. Such a proscriptive approach would be out of keeping with our nation's longstanding record of tolerance. Accordingly we do not support a ban on wearing the burka."
Baroness Warsi, the first woman Muslim Cabinet minister, has also defended the right of women to choose to wear a face veil."

A burqa ban does run counter to British instincts but it is not a matter of "tolerance", it is a matter of personal freedom. We should have the freedom to be intolerant of burqa-wearers just as they should have the freedom to go on wearing it.

1 comment:

  1. or, for that matter, not to wear it. And there's the rub.

    How much of wearing a burqa appears to be a man's idea and something which is used to either stop (heterosexual) men from sexually straying or else to subjugate women? Take your pick.

    Are we also now going to be tolerant of those who want the personal freedom to wear nothing at all?

    But I'm continually surprised and pleased by Theresa - I presume Nick phones her up quite often and tells her what to say.