Monday, August 13, 2018

Boris Johnson and the Danish Burqa Ban

By now I am confident you know that Denmark has banned the burqa. In that it has joined other European nations, nations like France, Belgium, Germany and Austria. This symbol of women’s oppression, whereby a Muslim woman is obliged to hide her face when out in public means simply that women are not allowed to have a public face. Surely, it defies Western liberal policies.

To memorialize the Danish ban, British parliamentarian and candidate to be the next prime minister, Boris Johnson wrote an article in the Telegraph wherein he disputed the Danish ban, on the grounds that he does not accept bans of any sort. And yet, he added that women who wear the burqa look like “letter boxes,” a decidedly unflattering analogy. He also compared them to bank robbers. Link to Zero Hedge. Article by Soeren Kern at Gatestone Institute.

In Johnson’s words:

What has happened, you may ask, to the Danish spirit of live and let live? If you tell me that the burka is oppressive, then I am with you. 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....

If a constituent came to my MP's surgery [one-on-one meetings between MPs and their constituents] with her face obscured, I should feel fully entitled... to ask her to remove it so that I could talk to her properly. If a female student turned up at school or at a university lecture looking like a bank robber, then ditto: those in authority should be allowed to converse openly with those that they are being asked to instruct.

Naturally, the remarks caused an uproar. Some of those who objected were defending Britain’s hapless Prime Minister, Theresa May, from a man who appears to want to replace her. Others excoriated Johnson for being racist and Islamophobic. Apparently, in Once-Great Britain, saying anything unkind or unflattering about Islam counts as a thought crime. If prosecution is impossible, the offender must instantly be packed off to sensitivity training.

The venerable principle of free expression has thus found its limit. Many Britons now believe that Muslims do not need to play by the same rules as everyone else. Which does not point toward cultural assimilation.

Prime Minister May took serious offense and demanded an apology, in the name of those women who had been unjustly deprived of a public face:

I do think that we all have to be very careful about the language and terms we use. And some of the terms Boris used describing people's appearance obviously have offended. What's important is do we believe people should have the right to practice their religion and, in the case of women and the burka and niqab, to choose how they dress. I believe women should be able to choose how they dress.

As it happened, Johnson was defending women’s rights to dress as they choose. Yet, do you really believe that women wear burqas because they have exercised a free choice to do so? The notion is absurd on its face.

Johnson has refused to apologize and the Tory party-- that would be the conservative party-- has launched an inquiry, to see whether it should expel Johnson.

Among those defending Johnson is an imam from the Oxford Islamic Congregation. Taj Hargey wrote this:

Boris Johnson should not apologise for telling the truth. His evocative analogy is unfortunate but he is justified in reminding everyone that the Wahhabi/Salafi-inspired fad of female facial masking has no Koranic legitimacy. It is, however, a nefarious component of a trendy gateway theology for religious extremism and militant Islam.

The burka and niqab are hideous tribal ninja-like garments that are pre-Islamic, non-Koranic and therefore un-Muslim. Although this deliberate identity-concealing contraption is banned at the Kaaba in Mecca it is permitted in Britain, thus precipitating security risks, accelerating vitamin D deficiency, endorsing gender-inequality and inhibiting community cohesion.

It is any wonder that many younger women have internalised this poisonous chauvinism by asserting that it is their human right to hide their faces?

Johnson did not go far enough. If Britain is to become a fully integrated society then it is incumbent that cultural practices, personal preferences and communal customs that aggravate social division should be firmly resisted."

It takes an imam to talk some sense into political correct Brits.

The fallout from the brouhaha has caused Johnson’s popularity to rise. Poll results show British citizens firmly on his side:

A Sky Data Poll published on August 8 found that 60% of Britons surveyed said that it is not racist to compare Muslim women wearing burkas to bank robbers and letter boxes, while 59% were in favor of a burka ban.


trigger warning said...

I strongly disagree with Mr Johnson. The classic UK letterbox is a typically charming cultural artifact designed when the word "British" was not a scornful adjective. Besides, the contents of the letterboxes were generally accounted as valuable.

Women in burkas remind me of stuffed Hefty Lawn and Leaf Bags. Similarly, the value of typical leaf bag contents left on the street for collection corresponds fairly well to the value of women in many Islamic states. For example, mighty Hamas "fighters" view bagged women as self-propelled sandbags.

Sam L. said...

It's good to see that polls show the people approve of Boris' statement, and NOT the establishment's disapproval of it.

Anonymous said...

It sounds like a Monty Python skit.