Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Argument about the burqua ban

UKIP's policy on the burqua - a ban on it in public places - is clearly controversial but also popular with the majority of the public. The burqua, let us be clear, is a complete covering of a woman and it includes a veil, with or without a gap for the eyes. We are not, therefore, talking about a headscarf or a long cape.

It is worth considering one argument against the ban and that is the potential imprisonment of Muslim women in their homes, if their men will not allow them out on the street without a niquab (a veil). Were that to happen it would prove our argumen; the immediate greater discomfort for the women would then make it easier for us to fight for their real freedom. But the arguments that speak of free choice or describe the burqua as just an item of clothing do not show any understanding of the problem.

Dominic Lawson published an article in the Sunday Times on January 24, entitled Banning the burqa is simply not British. Unfortunately, he showed no understanding of what the burqa really was, what it signified and cheerfully admitted that he saw few women wearing them where he lived though that did not stop him from lecturing those who lived in different areas. He knew better on that and other subjects, such as how much freedom a woman in a Muslim family even in Britain had to choose whether she veiled herself or not.

Lord Pearson of Rannoch replied the following week with a letter:
DOMINIC LAWSON says that “banning the burqa is simply not British” and would betray our principles of freedom and liberty (Comment, last week). The burqa is a symbol of Islam, which, in its worldwide quest to replace our Judaeo-Christian culture, is the source of nearly all modern terrorism. It has no separation of powers, being a political, legal and religious system rolled into one; the penalty for leaving it, or for insulting it, is death. All of it is based on the Koran, and is encapsulated in sharia, a medieval legal system of flagrant gender apartheid.

Men are superior to women because “Allah has chosen them one above the other”, so a woman’s testimony in court is worth half a man’s (Sura: 2:282). Only men can give evidence in rape and adultery cases, which also carry the death penalty. Sura 4.34 says that if a man fears his wife is being disloyal, he should beat her, and Suras 2:229 and 230 allow men to divorce their wives without reason. Hardly very British.

And yes, Mr Lawson, all this is happening in a town near you, and it won’t be long before it invades the appeasing comfort in which our political class lives. For years it castigated as racist anyone who dared to warn about uncontrolled immigration. Now it is sowing another wind by refusing to face up to the reality of Islam.

At least the article was an admirable contribution to the debate we so urgently need to have, especially with the vast majority of mild, non-burqa- wearing Muslims who are our friends, and I thank you for that.

Lord Pearson of Rannoch
Leader, UKIP
That an open debate is essential becomes clearer by the day.


  1. Many states in the southern USA have had for the past century "masquerade" laws outlawing appearing in public with the face covered in ordinary circumstances (i.e., unless needed for work) as an anti-Ku Klux Klan measure. They make the larger point that to participate in public life, one should be willing to have one's identity readily known and be accountable for one's actions. Independent of any specific concerns about radical Islamism, this is a sound principle in accordance with English legal tradition.

  2. Bravo, a politician who knows something! dont forget Islam has a mechanism by which one can safely ignore all islamic law if you are doing so to disadvantage, kill or cure an infadel, this has a name (sorry forgot ) so it is a little hard to believe anything they say.

  3. "The burqa is a symbol of Islam." Actually Islam forbids symbols so anyone claiming the burqa is a symbol of their religion is a heretic.

  4. I think a ban on the burqa in public places is very reasonable. Although many people believe that their religion 'requires' them to wear it, this is not the case. Britain has already banned hoodies from public places for safety reasons and wearing a burqa poses exactly the same threat.

  5. To Chris Edwards,I think the term you are looking for,is "taqiyya",variously defined as "religious dishonesty",or "being two-faced"and is often used by Islamists to further the cause of Islam.You can google it.

    On the subject of the burqa,the ban should be supported,on purely practical grounds,namely of security,as more and more crimes are committed with the help of the burqa.Full marks to Paul Nuttall,who supported the ban on Radio 4's Question Time recently,and seemed to go down well with the studio audience.

  6. If wearing the burqa is a matter of choice, women should have the right to choose to wear it if they want. I understand they wouldn't have a problemn with removing it for security reasons.

    If, however, wearing the burqa is a matter of force, then it should be dealt with as individual cases of domestic violence or honour crime and dealt with on that basis with exisiting laws.

    Banning things is quite wrong - look at how intolerant our country has become since the blanket smoking ban and class driven hunting ban! It's not nice being in a British minority group and being shunned and avoided because someone else doesn't like what you do - even if it doesn't harm anyone esle!

    Is this debate about the burqa or Islam?

  7. >>If wearing the burqa is a matter of choice, women should have the right to choose to wear it if they want.

    'Pat Nurse', you fail to recognise that wearing the burka is not a religious symbol but a form of cultural expression, that of fundamentalist Islam, specifically Saudi Arabian wahhabism.

    Wahhabism (you can Google it if you want to find out more) is the ideological motor fueling Al-Queda, the Taliban & the succession of terrorist attacks on the West that have claimed so many thousands of lives.

    Being a liberal democracy, as we are, does not mean bending over backwards to appease the totalitarian ideology of those who wish to destroy us. That's not liberalism that's suicide.

    Besides, how do we determine if it IS a woman's own choice to wear that oppressive garment, hm? Let's face it, Muslims don't exactly have a shining track record when it comes to endorsing women's rights.

    The burka is a security threat, it's a way in which those hostile to the West, to women, to the idea of integration into the host community, of divisiveness & strife, can stick two fingers up to the country. That's completely unacceptable.

    It should have been banned a long time ago & with polls following UKIP's announcement showing over 70% of the country support a ban it hopefully won't be long in coming.

    There's a lot to do in dealing with intolerant Islam in this country. Banning both public & private displays of this wretched garment is a good place to begin.

  8. Fair points, Anon. I know it's not a religious requirement and I know some women are forced into wearing it. But, I hate the idea of a ban. I am against intolerance of any sort.