I hate it because it reminds me of the Ku Klux Klan, of the balaclavas worn by the IRA, of any movement or organisation that decides to conceal itself from outsiders – in short, anyone with something to hide.
Alright, I know the burka is worn by women, which makes it worse because here the secrecy is reversed; to depersonalise the woman, to rob her of any visible character or personality; to subjugate and demean, in other words. Neither are the gender boundaries so strictly observed they cannot be adjusted for the convenience of terrorists, who are happy to use them as a disguise.
Let’s be perfectly clear on this. The burka, or a version of it, first appeared in the old country of Persia around the end of the tenth century, and slowly spread throughout Islam under the auspices of a strict religious sect, but it has no foundation anywhere in the Quran. The holy book only requires that dress should be modest, and reveal no more of the body than is necessary. Therefore by implication are we to conclude that Moslems feel the only necessary part of the female body is the eye? This aligns with the same primitive thinking that believes in GM, and insists the word of three women is needed to have the same value as that of one man.
Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson had the temerity to suggest that women so dressed looked ‘ridiculous’, likening the garb to a letterbox, or that worn by a bank robber. He was not suggesting the burka should be banned, but commenting upon recent legislation in Denmark, where it is now outlawed. The squeals of outrage have reverberated around Westminster and the gutter press ever since.
For the record, the Burka is prohibited by law, completely or partially, in an increasing number of countries in Africa, and many now in Europe too. France, Spain, Italy, Belgium, Austria, Holland have all prohibited the garment to varying degrees. Frau Murkel has suggested a ban in Germany. Again, in UK it is not banned. I believe it should be.
Although I regard myself as a fairly liberated free thinker for one of my ripened years, I worry about Islam. This transcends race, and for that matter all the millions of broader-minded Moslems who manage to reconcile the belligerent teachings of their holy book with the realities of modern life. But there is a hardened thread of fundamentalism at the religion’s heart which has no interest in integration and sees the ‘infidel’ as an enemy. Its adherents are implacable and intolerant. They do not believe in our freedoms, and they would hurt us if they could.
So I appeal to moderate Moslems who want to mingle with and enjoy western society to try and understand how – and I hate this word – intimidating the burka seems to those who do not share your faith. I would rarely advocate restriction upon any freedom, least of all dress, but this form of dress symbolises restriction of freedom for women. I know my opinion is widely shared.
The burka has no place on the streets of Britain.