Banning the Burkha

As with any proposal to prevent our country from being turned into a multi-cultural wasteland, the proposal to ban the burkha in France, and now in Britain, has brought the usual pursed-lipped disapproval from the British media.  Doubtless we shall hear a good deal about another minority’s “human rights”.

Thus Dominic Lawson, Sunday Times journalist, in its centre comment pages, avows that banning the burkha would be “un-British”.  Actually the proposal in Britain and France, where it has huge support among the public and across the political spectrum, is to ban the burkha in public places, or where the public has access to – like universities, theatres, cinemas, and so on.

It is worthwhile spending a moment to see that Lawson’s assertion that a ban would somehow be un-British is just absurd.  In the eighties and nineties British soldiers were banned from wearing their uniforms in the streets for fear of drawing attention to themselves, an order that has only recently been rescinded.  The Public Order Act 1936, section 1, proscribes the wearing of any uniform “signifying association with the promotion of any political objective”.

The burkha is a religious uniform and in the public mind, not just here, but in France, Egypt, Turkey, Tunisia, the latter three being Muslim countries and the former having no wish to become one, the burkha is clearly associated with a political objective, namely the Islamification of public life.  Being himself very aware of this reality, the Grand Mufti of Cairo has stated the nijab (full face cover with only holes or a screen) is not only not a religious obligation, but is an outfit “blatantly in contrast with the Prophet’s teaching”.  The Egyptian government has banned it from public offices.  It is totally banned in public places in Turkey.

Someone clad from top to toe in face-concealing garments is prevented not just from simply talking to other people in the street, but also from transacting daily life in the shops, garages, banks, where increasingly photo-bearing cards are required as proof of identity.  Anyone clad in such a way also compromises the effectiveness of CCTV cameras placed in the streets and elsewhere, to provide security for everyone else.  As the minority of Muslims, who wear or force their women to wear the burkha, are clearly not sensitive to the needs of British society, only a ban will do, probably by a small amendment to the said Public Order Act.

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