Critiquing Islamist fundamentalist practice is not an ‘attack on Muslim women’

Aug 10, 2018 by

by Munira Mirza, Conservative Home:

It is hard to know whether Boris Johnson’s comments about the burka would have provoked the same hysteria had they been made outside the August silly season, but one suspects they would not have received much notice if said by almost any other senior politician.

Ken Clarke has argued for a ban on wearing the burka in law courts, describing the garment as “a kind of bag”. None of the people now lining up to attack Johnson were vocal about Clarke’s comments. Emily Thornberry said she wouldn’t want a woman in a burka looking after her child. The Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police didn’t seek guidance as to whether her remarks constituted a criminal offence.

If Jeremy Wright and Ruth Davidson truly believe that anyone who describes the burka in derogatory terms is ‘crossing a line’, then we must ask why they have never criticised the many other senior politicians who have done so, such as Anna Soubry and Sadiq Khan.

In fact, Johnson’s article was reasonable, balanced and a thoughtful defence of Muslim women’s right to choose how they live. Unlike supposedly liberal leaders in the EU, like Emmanuel Macron, who ban the burka in their countries, Johnson argued that Muslim women should be free to make their own minds up.

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Read also: Letterbox-gate: who said it first – Boris or the Guardian? by Steerpike, Spectator

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