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In Defence of Boris Johnson’s Burqa Comments

I am no fan Boris Johnson. I should be fair and point out that, like an infinite number of monkeys with enough paper and pens will eventually produce a Shakespeare play; if you give Boris Johnson an infinite number of opportunities to write a column for The Telegraph, he will produce something worth reading. That time has come!

Boris is absolutely right about the Burka and the Niqab making women look like terrorists and letterboxes. He is spot on. Thank Allah a politician has dared to say what many Muslims around the world have been saying for decades. Thank God there is a politician who is bold enough to not be swayed by the mealy-mouthed, spineless and hypocritical politicians who pay quivering lip-service to the calls of offence while really doing sweet bugger all to qualm the Islamophobia in the West.

Yes, the Burka is banned in France. You can be as outraged by that to your bleeding heart’s content, but how outraged are you – how aware are you – that the Burka is also fully or partially banned in Muslim countries? (% of Muslim population)

Chad (58%)

Cameroo (20%)

Niger (98%)

Senegal (92%)

Syria (82%)

In other Muslim countries where the Burka is not banned, it is not a requirement, either.  Even in Saudi Arabia, the ‘Mecca’ of the Muslim world, the Burka and niqba are banned during the parts of the religious pilgrimage of Hajj. In Morocco, the selling and manufacturing of the Burka is outlawed. Its use by the police and military also expressly banned.  The truth is:  you are far more likely to see a burka-wearing Muslim in the streets of London than on the streets of Rabat, Casablanca or Damascus.

The argument that wearing these garments is a choice is a ridiculous argument. It is not a choice if there is peer or family pressure or a fear of God’s wrath. Remove all religion from the world and you will not find any woman who would voluntarily wear the Burka or Niqab.  No one would deem it right for a black person to be shackled with a ball and chain – even if it were his expressed desire to be so.

In the West, there is a belief from ignorance that all Muslims think and believe the same. The West sees religious expression as a human right, but the Burka and Niqab are not a symbol of religion. Muslims across the world see the Burka and Niqab for what they really are: Barbaric, oppressive and non-Quranic. There is not a single instance throughout history of a woman of power and influence wearing a burka – not a single one!

The Internet gives greater access of western lifestyles and western cultural norms to younger, better educated Muslims around the world. This access is allowing, perhaps even encouraging, young male and female Muslims to question the role of their religion in their lives.

In Islamic countries where a dress code is encourage if not enforced, Muslim women are defying the social norms by uncovering their heads – and risking prison time for doing so. The West should do more to help Muslims release themselves from the more extreme interpretations of Islam that lead to acts of oppression and that hold back Muslim women from achieving their full potential. After all,  let’s be honest: No one gets anywhere in life dressed like a letterbox!

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