What has Belgium, France and Syria done that the UK refuses to do? Ban the burka in public places for one thing. In a move that has surprised and dissapointed many, the ConDem coalition has decided to allow Muslim women to wear the burka in public.
In a comment that will have critics of Islam and feminists having a double-take, a female Coalition minister has commented that the burka is a good thing for women’s rights. bit.ly/bnJlmn
“But Mrs Spelman insisted that the burka was “empowering”. She told Sky News: “I take a strong view on this, actually…For them the burka confers dignity, it’s their choice, they choose to go out dressed in a burka and I understand that it is a different culture from mine but the fact is in this country women want to be free to choose whether or not to cover their heads, whether or not to go out in the morning wearing a burka, that’s for them.”
She has gotten criticism both from in her own party and from outside of it. Nigel Farage was less than complementary in his comments.
“Nigel Farage, the former leader of the UK Independent Party, described Mrs Spelman’s remarks as “moronic” and “bizarre”.
He said: “Wearing a burka seriously diminishes a woman’s life chances in 21st century Britain – to describe it as somehow empowering is simply moronic. “It was a thoroughly extraordinary and deeply ignorant comment for Caroline Spelman, a Government minister, to make.”
Spelman and her colleagues might have sought the counsel of Ayaan Hirsi Ali on her thoughts on the French ban.bit.ly/bsxFTL Despite Ali being a libertarian its doubtful should would share Spelman’s atttitude toward the burka.
Roger Helmer MEP is a stern believer that it should be banned. bit.ly/a0ZnpJ
“So we should say to our Muslim fellow citizens “You are welcome among us. You are welcome to live in our country and to follow your faith. But the covering of the face amounts to a public affront, a deliberate discourtesy to your host nation. Please don’t do it”.
Damian Green MP made it very clear the position of the Coalition on such a ban. bit.ly/bxKDJ2
“Damian Green said such a move would be “rather un-British” and run contrary to the conventions of a “tolerant and mutually respectful society”.
He said it would be “undesirable” for Parliament to vote on a burka ban in Britain and that there was no prospect of the Coalition proposing it.:
This policy adjustment will anger many Britons especially in the light of revelations that Muslim bus drivers are not allowing the blind to bring their seeing eye dogs into their vehicles. bit.ly/dhJBRY
“One pensioner, a cancer sufferer, told how had twice been confronted by drivers and asked to get off the bus because of his guide dog, and had also faced hostility at a hospital and in a supermarket over the animal.”
It remains to be seen if the resistance to ban the burka will pay dividends for the ConDem Coalition with Muslims. It is certainly not helping their image with a majority of the population worried about the encroachment of special privelges for Muslims in the UK.