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May urges Boris Johnson to apologize for burqa comments

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By JILL LAWLESS

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So, May wants Johnson to apologize for standing up for women”s rights? How ironic.

-7 ( +8 / -15 )

So, May wants Johnson to apologize for standing up for women”s rights? How ironic.

Johnson has no interest in women’s rights or any other topic. He’s making a calculated move to further his own career.

8 ( +13 / -5 )

Johnson's bumbling about, trying to pick up the UKIP vote. The man thrives on attention.

Witness his comments on the people of Liverpool, the Border between the Republic and occupied 6 counties and many other gaffes.

Not sure what right the Bullingdon bully has to dictate to women what to wear.

0 ( +8 / -8 )

Johnson has no interest in women’s rights or any other topic. He’s making a calculated move to further his own career.

Exactly. This buffoon couldn't make up his mind abut Brexit before the decision to hold a referendum, went for Brexit thinking it wouldn't happen, and then when it did happen, tried to disappear off into the sunset. The gaffes coming from his cakehole is typical and non-stop from a pompous idiot with white upper class privilege, with no idea how most people make ends meet.

As they say, a poor man's Trump. Ugly inside and outside.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

These mature, adult women are old enough to decide for themselves what to wear.

To claim that they are brainwashed or forced is an insult to their intelligence.

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

Most Brits take the bloviating of this bullying buffoon with a big pinch of salt and tolerate the Trumpyesque outbursts this unkempt posh boy as fodder for mild amusement while muttering to themselves: what a burqa!

1 ( +5 / -4 )

To claim that they are brainwashed or forced is an insult to their intelligence.

The issue of some women being pressured to cover up is something that needs to kept in mind. That is something unacceptable in a civilised country in the same way an opportunist, restaurant-wrecking, anoral circus act is unacceptable in politics.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Being in agreement and commenting with BJ’s views is grounds for deletion?

If burqua wearing Muslims don’t agree with the views of a secular U.K. politician then they are welcome to exit!

if that is the case then delete the article otherwise listen to the sound of one hand clapping....

Thats common sense!

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

occupied 6 counties

Why ruin an otherwise sensible comment with a silly jab like this?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

And if people are unwilling to go along with the generally relaxed, live-and-let-live attitude of the vast majority of the UK, then they are very welcome to leave, too.

They’d probably feel more at home in some semi-Fascist, authoritarian state. Maybe both sides could establish one together. Boris for Emir!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

If burqua wearing Muslims don’t agree with the views of a secular U.K. politician then they are welcome to exit!

So people who don't agree with Boris Johnson should leave the country?

By the same token, people who don't agree with Teresa May, who does not agree with Boris Johnson, should also leave the country?

England's green and pleasant land is going to be deserted.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The actual problem here is that people and politicians are now so sensitive that they treat criticism and ridicule of anything even tangentially related to middle eastern culture as some sort of attack on all Muslims. The burqa is a 20th century modern invention by an extremist fringe. The vast majority of Muslims do not wear burqas nor any sort of face covering. The burqa is actually banned in many Muslim countries. There is no reason why it shouldn't be mercilessly ridiculed out of existence, just like corsets and bell bottoms. To equate ridiculing the burqa with an insult on the entire muslim community is akin to equating the riducule of KKK grand wizard hoods as an attack on all christians.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Trumplite Johnson has certainly not fallen far from the poisonous tree of his idol, has he ?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Trumplite Johnson has certainly not fallen far from the poisonous tree of his idol, has he ?

To be fair to Johnson, he was playing this game long before Trump threw US politics into the toilet.

That’s not to say he can’t learn new tricks. I see Berlusconi as a major influence on both.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Fizzbit urges M3M3M3 to apologize for the bell bottoms comment.

Nice post.

Especially about the Burka being a 20th century invention. The burka stems from fanatical Muslims, and I think it is a combination of oppression and brainwashing.

If the Danish Muslims, or any other burqa wearing Muslims in Europe don't like it, they can always emigrate to the US. However, they should be prepared to forget about social democracy and put capitalism before their religion, as the majority of American Muslims have successfully done.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

However, they should be prepared to forget about social democracy and put capitalism before their religion, as the majority of American Muslims have successfully done.

The majority of Muslims voted Democrat in the last election and the socialist Bernie Sanders was very popular among Muslim voters.

Can’t think why they didn’t vote for Trump en masse. Any ideas?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Boris is a self-serving tool but the letterbox should be banned. I know it is where I chose to live.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

There is no reason why it shouldn't be mercilessly ridiculed out of existence, just like corsets and bell bottoms. To equate ridiculing the burqa with an insult on the entire muslim community is akin to equating the riducule of KKK grand wizard hoods as an attack on all christians.

Do you think that Muslims, Jews etc would ridicule corsets, lace cuffs etc if they were deemed 'appropriate' by today's Christians? Honestly dunno.

My point is, Christians themselves (with the help of atheists ;) decided that modesty, purity/chastity before marriage etc were obsolete notions. Not sure a particular community (religious or not) should try to 'fix' others i.e. it has to come from within (in this case Muslims themselves, especially women).

Still an interesting and well thought-out comment though (and funny), M3!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I honestly don't think burqas have a place in British society, purely because I seem to notice more of them each time I go there and don't feel comfortable being among people I can't identify easily. I feel exactly the same about the white face mask, sunglasses and hat combo here in Japan

0 ( +0 / -0 )

M3,

I've searched the net high and low but I can't find anything to support your claim that the burqa is "a 20th century modern invention."

It may be that it's become more common these days owing to the rise in extremism and all, but there are many references to it being adopted in Muslim societies over a millennium ago, often from local cultural rather than religious custom. Whatever, it's an established practice now and although ridiculing it may not be an attack on the entire Muslim community, it's certainly an attack on part of it, and on freedom of religious expression generally.

I wouldn't have thought we would want to do that - unless we want to be just like those extremist Muslim societies we deride.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

In the time leading up to face-covering veils being banned here in Denmark, I've gotten a clear impression that many of the (few) women wearing coverings like that are independent, intelligent and very much capable of deciding these things for themselves. I've been following it closely, reading interviews and watching clips, and to say these women are brainwashed and forced to wear veils... It's super close-minded and in many cases, just plain wrong.

Anyone is allowed to feel how they want about burqas and the like. But I don't see why they have to be rude like Boris here, or why they get to decide what women should wear. The few women who are forced by very religious men will have to stay home, being even less able to integrate into society. No one wins from this, except for scared, close-minded xenophobes.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

BigYen

I also did a quick search and found that burqas worn many moons ago were mostly ceremonial, maybe weddings or upper classes. They were ordered mandetory by the Taliban, for one modern example. And we all know what they're like.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

FizzBit,

That's true, but it's only part of the truth. It's easy to find multiple references to the adoption of "face veiling" happening, as I said, over a millennium ago and as part of everyday life, not just for ceremonial occasions. I'd never heard of the idea that burqas were a 20th century invention until I read the claim in M3's post.

It's certainly true that the Taliban - may peace NOT be upon them - made wearing the burqa mandatory for a while. So did that other plague from the Middle East, ISIS. But whether M3 is right or I'm right, the burqa/niqab is an essential part of life for some Muslims, and it's not necessarily forced on the women wearing it and neither would they necessarily consider it evidence of their subjugation by their men or religion.

If it's going to change, IMHO that change has to come from within those societies, not be forced on them from outside.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@BigYen

It may be that it's become more common these days owing to the rise in extremism and all, but there are many references to it being adopted in Muslim societies over a millennium ago

Sorry, I meant it in the sense that the popularisation (or re-popularisation) of the burqa as we know it today is largely a 20th century phenomenon. I'm sure you're right that the garment itself can be traced back hundreds of years in one form or another. The resurgence of traditional Islamic dress really seems to have its roots in the Iranian revolution and then the Sunni world's desire to react to that with their own virtue.

@FizzBit

I apologise for the bell bottoms comment. But speaking of wearing bell bottoms and changing standards of dress here's a photo showing the Bin Laden family in 1971. The way they're dressed is quite remarkable by today's standards.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/gallery/2011/may/02/osama-bin-laden-in-pictures

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Any support I had for BJ has long since evaporated. The man's a liability.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@goldorak

Do you think that Muslims, Jews etc would ridicule corsets, lace cuffs etc if they were deemed 'appropriate' by today's Christians? Honestly dunno.

First, I should clarify that I wouldn't advocate for ridiculing anyone based on their clothes, but there's no reason to disallow it for the burqa if we allow it for other types of clothing. As far as the question, I think these Europeans would be ridiculed if they moved to Saudi Arabia and tried to do it there.

I also completely agree with your stance on different and changing cultural norms, so I would never set out to 'fix' another culture. However, are these burqa wearers now part of British culture, and have they joined British culture? Is it reasonable to expect them to give up the most striking and prominent barrier to integration as the price of joining the new culture? Or are they just living in Britain in their own segregated bubble? These seem to be just a few of the questions that were never fully addressed before we all started out on this multicultural experiment.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

M3,

I checked out your link. That is a truly amazing photograph. Everyone looks so normal (for the 70s anyway)

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I wouldn't have thought we would want to do that - unless we want to be just like those extremist Muslim societies we deride.

This is a very good point. I don’t like the argument that non-Muslims would not be allowed the kind of freedom and protection Muslims in western countries receive. Of course we should act to more civilised standards than theocrats, and don’t forget Muslims, particularly women, who came to countries like the UK to escape these people.

The latter group include Muslim and ex-Muslim women who are depressed at the sight of women wearing a symbol of female oppression which many fought against.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"I believe women should be able to choose how they dress," said May."

Too bad they can't choose how they dress in many Muslim countries.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Toasted Heretic: Not sure what right the Bullingdon bully has to dictate to women what to wear.

You are misrepresenting Johnson. He specifically stated that he supports Muslim women’s right to wear anything they want. He just made the obvious observation that the burqa is a ridiculous garment for women to wear in the 21st century. Political correctness is attempting to censor alternative points of view and it is dangerous.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Is it reasonable to expect them to give up the most striking and prominent barrier to integration as the price of joining the new culture? 

I think it is (reasonable) and I wish they'd agree. The issue I have with a total ban is that it doesn't resolve anything in terms of willingness to integrate into their adoptive country. As far as I am concerned, the fact we're having this debate means we've already failed. Banning the burqa is a rather small and petty victory imo.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

It is not only the men but the women that pressure non burqua wearing women to conform.

It is not just a case of wearing or not wearing a piece of clothing-it goes much deeper than that.

Some Muslims agree to it and some don’t, but those that don’t find it very difficult to be heard.....

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Some Muslims agree to it and some don’t, but those that don’t find it very difficult to be heard.....

Part of the problem is that immigrants choose to live in communities of immigrants like themselves. Therefore the home country’s culture prevails over that of the adopted country.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The Times letter column.....

Sir, 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.

The retrogressive Islamic clergy has succeeded in persuading ill-informed Muslims through suspect secondary sources that God wants women to cover their faces, when in reality it is a toxic patriarchy controlling women. Is it 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. For this reason Britain must emulate France, Belgium, Austria, Bulgaria and Denmark in banning the burka.

Dr Taj Hargey

Imam, Oxford Islamic Congregation

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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